While Apple‘s Universal Control feature allows one keyboard and trackpad to connect multiple iPad tablets and Mac computers, with a little help a Windows PC can be controlled by an iPad Magic Keyboard as well. This isn’t a new innovation from Apple, but rather the work of a third-party app that already offered capabilities similar to Universal Control.
Apple has been continuously working on integrating its products since the very beginning of the company. It makes sense to inspire customer loyalty, bringing them back for more after making that initial decision to shop at Apple. AirPods work best with an iPhone and an Apple Watch requires an iPhone for its first setup to access every feature. The iPhone, iPad, and Mac play well together, making it easy to pick up a call or message on any device while sharing photos, videos, and files quickly with an instant wireless connection. Universal Control is yet another connection between a tight-knit family of products.
Related: Hands-On With Apple Universal Control: What You Need To Know
An app called Synergy has capabilities similar to Universal Control allowing Windows and Mac computers to share a single keyboard and mouse, although it does lack the ability to connect to a tablet. Installing Synergy on a Mac that supports Universal Control unites devices from all three platforms via one keyboard and trackpad or mouse. Reddit user kxs8997 posted a video demonstrating their experience using the trackpad of an iPad with a Magic Keyboard to move the mouse cursor and keyboard focus between a Mac, the iPad itself, and a Windows PC. This effortless transition between devices is an unexpected bonus of using Synergy on a Mac that supports Universal Control.
Mac, iPad & Windows: A Developer Heaven
For anyone needing to develop apps, design websites, or test products on multiple platforms, this will make life much easier. Instead of reaching for another keyboard or physically moving a device closer to touch the screen, the user can keep typing on the keyboard that’s already perfectly positioned and keep clicking and scrolling with the mouse or trackpad that’s at hand.
These little efficiency details add up since the keyboard and mouse are used continuously throughout the day. This is very nearly developer heaven. The only way it could be better is if the connection followed the user’s gaze. It’s still possible to forget to move the mouse to the correct workspace before typing and realizing that the keystrokes are going to the wrong device. Even so, it’s very close to the ideal setup for anyone that needs to switch between Apple’s Mac or iPad and Microsoft‘s Windows-based computers.