With iPadOS 16, Apple introduced Stage Manager, a feature that’s designed to improve multitasking through a more Mac-like multi-window experience. Apple also added full external display support, so for our latest YouTube video, we thought we’d test out both of these features to show MacRumors readers what the iPad experience is like in iPadOS 16.
Both Stage Manager and external display support are limited to the iPad Pro and iPad Air models that are equipped with M1 chips, which includes only Apple’s most recent devices. Apple’s decision to limit Stage Manager to M1 iPads has been highly controversial because many people have older iPads and are unable to use some of the best multitasking updates we’ve seen in years, but Apple has maintained that it was not possible to deliver an acceptable multitasking experience on iPads that don’t have the power of the M1 chip.
If you’re lucky enough to have an M1 iPad Pro or M1 iPad Air, Stage Manager is a useful multitasking update. You can activate it through Control Center, and once on, you’ll see a tiled view of your open apps off to the left side of the app with the main app available center stage.
You can resize the windows and move them freely around on the iPad, which is a new experience. Previously, Split View and Slide Over were the only available multitasking options, and were limited to two apps or app windows at a time.
Stage Manager works with the aforementioned external display support, and that’s where the feature is best shown off, as it allows for a much more Mac like experience. With an iPad alone, Stage Manager is capable of handling four apps at once, but with an external display, you can use up to eight.
iPadOS 16 allows an iPad to take full advantage of the external display rather than mirroring the iPad, and it’s like using a display with a Mac. You can move windows from the iPad over to the display, and adjust the arrangement between the two as you would in macOS.
Stage Manager isn’t perfect as we’re still early in the beta testing process, so some apps aren’t working well on the external display, but there’s plenty of time for Apple to make refinements and updates. Stage Manager is likely going to make for a much more pleasant working experience for those who like to use an iPad in lieu of a desktop computer, but it is a shame that it is limited to the newest iPads.
Have you tried Stage Manager? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below.