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Apple’s approach to major software updates has changed a bit over the past couple of years. Once upon a time, the company would roll out one big update then do smaller point releases over the next year or two to fix bugs and occasionally add minor features, followed by a long life of security updates. Over the last decade, those major releases have become yearly, but they still tended to deliver most of the promised features in one go.
Nowadays, with several major software platforms to keep up to date, the company has gradually shifted to a strategy of major software releases which include most of the features the company announces at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. But invariably, a handful of those headline features don’t make it into the initial version and instead trickle out in a variety of updates over the subsequent months.
So it’s been with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey. Several of the most ambitious features have still yet to be released, and with the clock ticking down on 2021, it’s left more than a few users wondering if we’ll even see these features this year.
As my colleague Jason Snell wrote this week, one of the biggest features to not make the cut when macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 rolled out is Universal Control. This impressive capability allows users to control a combination of Macs and iPads with just a single keyboard and pointing device, seamlessly jumping back and forth between them.
Most peculiarly out of all of these missing features, Universal Control—which Apple’s marketing pages still tout as coming “later this fall”—has barely even appeared in the betas for any releases. (In one pre-release version, some command-line trickery could enable it, but it clearly wasn’t ready for prime time). Unless Apple’s going to pop this out fully formed with no beta testing in the next couple weeks, it’s pretty unlikely it’ll make its self-imposed deadline.
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