Apple explains why Stage Manager is not coming to non-M1 iPads | Cult of Mac

Apple explains why Stage Manager is not coming to non-M1 iPads


Why the best iPadOS 16 features are limited to M1 iPads
You can't have iPadOS 16's Stage Manager multitasking system without one of the capabilities of the M1 processor.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
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Many of the best features of iPadOS 16 like Stage Manager are only coming to the M1 iPads. This angered a lot of non-M1 iPad users since they believe Apple is intentionally trying to limit the feature to newer devices.

The company has now provided an in-depth technical explanation behind Stage Manager not coming to older iPads.

Stage Manager needs the extra power of M1 iPads

An Apple engineer previously explained to Cult of Mac at WWDC22 that Virtual Memory Swap is needed for Stage Manager to work efficiently, and only M1 iPads are capable of supporting it. The combination of 8GB RAM and Virtual Memory Swap on the M1 iPads allows them to display up to eight apps when connected to an external monitor.

This time around, Apple has provided a more in-depth explanation to YouTuber Rene Ritchie. It notes delivering the Stage Manager experience “with the immediacy users expect from iPad’s touch-first experience requires large internal memory, incredibly fast storage, and flexible external display I/O, all of which are delivered by iPads with the M1 chip.”

Turns out there was a reason behind Apple adding a high-bandwidth USB-C port and faster internal storage on the M1 iPads. This is also why despite your A-series iPad feeling fast enough, Stage Manager is not coming to it.

The M1 iPads are so powerful for a reason

Apple is working towards providing a touch-first laptop-like experience with iPadOS. For this, it will have to limit some demanding features to newer Apple silicon iPads as they tie in closely with various hardware aspects.

The additional horsepower of the M1 or the upcoming M2 iPad Pro may not seem useful right now. But features like Stage Manager are usually in development for “a long while” and their hardware requirements only become clear during this phase.


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