Apple relents on Stage Manager, adds multitasking system to older iPads

Apple relents on Stage Manager, adds new multitasking system to older iPads

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iPadOS 16 Stage Manager
Some non-M1 iPads will support Stage Manager too.
Image: Apple

Apple listened to a chorus of user complaints by bringing support for Stage Manager to some older iPad models that don’t have the M1 processor. That gives more tablets access to the system that puts iPadOS applications in resizable, floating windows.

But the news isn’t all good. The company also decided to delay full support for external displays until later. The feature won’t be part of iPadOS 16.1 when it launches.

Older, non-M1 iPads will support Stage Manager

A highlight of iPadOS 16.1 will be Stage Manager, which makes Apple tablets work more like Macs. Applications appear in floating windows that can be resized as the user prefers and overlap each other.

When Apple announced the feature, many users were disappointed to learn it was coming only to iPads with an Apple M-series processor. It’s now lowered that restriction somewhat.

Stage Manager will be available on iPad models built around the A12X or A12Z processor, according to Engadget. That means every iPad Pro released since 2018 will have access to the new multitasking system.

“Customers with iPad Pro 3rd and 4th generation have expressed strong interest in being able to experience Stage Manager on their iPads,” Apple said in a statement. “In response, our teams have worked hard to find a way to deliver a single-screen version for these systems, with support for up to four live apps on the iPad screen at once.”

The change will come with iPadOS 16.1, which is expected to be available in October.

Full support for external displays is now on hold

iPad finally gets floating windows in Stage Manager on iPadOS 16
iPads with an M-series processor won’t get full external display support until after iPadOS 16.1.
Screenshot: Apple

iPadOS 16 has been a struggle for Apple. It had originally intended to introduce it in September but had to push the release back to October to give more time for Stage Manager development. This is why there won’t be an iPadOS 16 – version 16.1 will replaced iPadOS 15.x.

And the troubles continue. Today the company revealed that one of the major features has been delayed. Full support for external displays will not be in iPadOS 16.1.

But Apple hasn’t dropped the idea. The iPad-maker promises the feature will be introduced before the end of 2022. “External display support for Stage Manager on M1 iPads will be available in a software update later this year,” said Apple.

However, it’ll only be for tablets running M-series processors. The older iPad Pro models getting Stage Manager will not also get full support for external displays.

All iPad developers or users testing pre-release iPadOS versions should take note that iPadOS 16.1 beta 10 released Tuesday strips out full support for external displays. But it lets older iPads test Stage Manager.