I’m a big fan of Apple’s Sidecar. I frequently use it for work. When Apple announced Universal Control at the 2021 WWDC keynote, I was blown away by the technical challenge it might have represented for Apple’s engineers. It really makes for great demos. Then, I started to wonder if this feature would enable new workflows, and I failed to find meaningful ones. With Sidecar, the iPad acts like a passive device most of the time, and I’m happy with this configuration. Then, following the release of iOS 15.4b1, videos (like this one from MacRumors) demonstrating Universal Control in action started to pop up. I changed my mind.

Under a Universal Control configuration, the iPad acts like an intelligent extension of the Mac desktop. It’s like Sidecar Pro Max (just kidding here). The iPad becomes a second computing device readily available to the Mac. The user simply and seamlessly can take advantage of this second screen in a matter where the computing power of the device adds up to the Mac, the screen, the system memory. It’s absolutely clever.

I can see myself using Craft on the MacBook Air and Ulysses on the iPad Pro, all using the MacBook’s keyboard and trackpad. Or vice versa. Clever. Really.

I’m considering updating my M1 MacBook Air and my iPad Pro to this beta.