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Apple is bringing Stage Manager to older iPad Pro models

It’s no longer limited to M1 powered iPad Pro’s.

ipad pro on table as a monitor
Image: Unsplash

When Apple releases iPadOS 16 next month, a new feature is coming to more iPad Pro models. That’s Stage Manager, the multi-tasking management tool, previously said to work only with M1-powered iPad Pros.

Stage Manager lets you group overlapping, resizable app windows so you can flip between the groups. It’s Apple’s take on virtual desktops, where you can have one group set for productivity and another for gaming, for example.

When it was first announced at WWDC 2022, Apple sent a statement to Rene Ritchie, a prominent Apple YouTuber, and blogger, describing Stage Manger’s functionality and M1 limitations:

“Stage Manager is a fully integrated experience that provides all-new windowing experience that is incredibly fast and responsive and allow users to run 8 apps simultaneously across iPad and an external display with up to 6K resolution. Delivering this 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.”

Their reasoning for the M1 chip limitation was that the feature needed the power of the newest chips.

ipados stage manager
Image: Apple

Stage Manager can run up to eight iPad apps simultaneously, spread across the iPad Pro’s screen and an external display. That’s a lot of power needed, and only the M1 chip was up to the task.

Stage Manager is coming to older iPad Pro models

Any iPad Pro using the A12X or A12Z chip will work with Stage Manager, meaning every 11-inch model and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd-gen or later).

The only part of the feature that won’t work on the non-M1 iPad Pro devices is the ability to extend your screen to an external display. You’ll also only be able to multi-task with up to four live apps.

macos ventura stage manager
Image: KnowTechie

We think that’s a decent trade-off, giving you the ability to still multitask like a boss while on the go.

On the other hand, Apple has also temporarily disabled external display support on M1-powered iPad Pro models.

The company says they’ll reintroduce it later this year. Given that Twitter is full of users complaining that Stage Manager doesn’t work correctly, that’s probably the right call.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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