Apple debuted its latest macOS version today at the Worldwide Developers Conference, along with a feature dubbed Universal Control, which allows you to use your Mac’s mouse or trackpad to control the cursor on an iPad or another Mac’s screen, reaching into and across many devices. On the surface, it may not appear to be revolutionary, but Craig Federighi did something pretty remarkable during the demo: he moved his cursor onto an iPad, then clicked on a photo and dragged it across two other machines to place it into a Final Cut timeline.

While Logitech’s Flow and programs like Synergy have also enabled users to easily switch between PCs, it’s not always as remarkable in practice – some solutions require specific hardware, some don’t support true dragging and dropping, and still, others have cumbersome configurations. Apple’s version appears to be flawless.

It is worth noting that, according to Apple’s site, there are a few small caveats for Universal Control — it will only work with three devices (so Apple was showing its full capabilities in this demo), and it won’t work on every device getting the new versions of macOS and iPadOS.

Here’s the list of Macs that can initiate Universal Control:

  • MacBook Pro (2016 and later)
  • MacBook (2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 and later)
  • iMac (2017 and later)
  • iMac (5K Retina 27-inch, Late 2015)
  • Mac mini (2018 and later)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Pro 2019

As for iPads, it’ll work with:

  • iPad Pro
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (6th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)

While the function works with iPads, it must be activated on the Mac – thus if you were hoping to transfer a file to your Mac using an Apple Pencil or your finger, you’re out of luck (as fun as that sounds).

Apple claims that the function requires no setup (other than having your two devices logged in with the same Apple ID and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff turned on), but we won’t know how fast and reliable it is until we test it. Will it work every time you place your iPad next to your iMac, or will you be tapping your fingers on the desk waiting for them to understand they should be communicating?

Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see how Universal Control works in practice, but the demo makes it appear as though everything just works – Federighi moved the machines close to one other and could switch between keyboards, mice, and screens. It makes for a great demo, hinting at the everlasting goal of computing: being able to use all of your gadgets together, regardless of form factor or operating system (though, of course, this version of the dream ignores non-Apple devices).