macOS Monterey adds seamless drag-and-drop sharing between iPad and Mac

macOS Monterey adds seamless drag-and-drop sharing between iPad and Mac

Those who own both a Mac and an iPad are probably aware of the feature “SideCar,” which essentially turns the iPad into a secondary monitor for Mac. At WWDC today, Apple introduced a new feature in macOS Monterey that further synergizes collaboration between the Mac and iPad, while letting the latter remain an iPad.

Named “Universal Control,” the new feature is part of macOS 12 “Monterey”, the upcoming new software version for Macs that’s available in beta right now, and it allows a user to control their iPad with their Mac’s keyboard and mouse/trackpad.

Demoing the feature during the keynote, Apple’s senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi made the feature look dead simple: He merely pulled his MacBook mouse cursor to the right edge of his screen, after which the iPad placed on the right of his MacBook showed a graphic on the left edge allowing the mouse arrow to continue moving on the iPad screen.

Federighi was able to switch between iPad apps directly on his MacBook keyboard via key shortcuts. But that’s not the most exciting part — you can also drag and drop files between the iPad and Mac. And not just between two machines too, but multiple. In his demo, Federighi was able to drag a graphic on his iPad Pro through the MacBook’s homescreen and then onto an iMac running Final Cut Pro.

Sharing a file from an iPad to a Mac thanks to Universal Control in macOS Monterey

This is a great productivity feature for those who own a Mac and an iPad. It appears the move towards using the same architecture (M1 silicon) across all of Apple’s computing devices is helping these devices become more interconnected, though it’s still shame that the iPad can’t just run full macOS apps.

About author

Ben Sin
Ben Sin

I'm a senior editor at XDA Developers. I have been a journalist for a decade, the last five years covering the mobile tech scene closely, reviewing just about every phone and attending trade shows and launches. I also run a gadget review channel on YouTube.