Stage Manager, a new multitasking system that adds overlapping, resizable windows to the iPad, was the most significant update Apple revealed with iPadOS 16 earlier this year. For the first time, iPads can do something other than simply mirror their screen on a monitor, and that something has used that functionality on an external display.
Unfortunately, it was only available on iPads that included the M1 processor, which excluded the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 11-inch iPad Pro announced by Apple in May of 2021. Only the most recent iPad models were included.
This is no longer the case with the newly published iPadOS 16 developer beta. This includes the 11-inch iPad Pro (first generation and later) and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, both of which were previously incompatible with Stage Manager (third generation and later).
The A12X and A12Z chips, as opposed to merely the M1, will be supported on the 2018 and 2020 models. However, Stage Manager can only be used with the iPad’s built-in display, so owners of previous iPad Pro devices will be out of luck if they want to use it. There is no way to connect an external monitor to your computer.
Furthermore, Apple has announced that the external display support for Stage Manager on M1 iPads, which has been there since the first beta of iPadOS 16 was released a few months ago, would be removed in the next beta 5 of iPadOS 16. A software upgrade later this year will bring it back.
Some members of the iPad community have been vocal about problems with Stage Manager, especially when connecting to an external display, so it’s understandable that Apple would want to spend more time perfecting the app.
I finally went ahead and *disabled* Stage Manager on my iPad Pro. For now.
As much as I love using 3-4 apps at once, the implementation just isn’t there yet. Crashes every few minutes; hard to use multi-window for the same app; UI glitches everywhere.
I hope Apple delays this.
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) August 18, 2022
We can’t say how well Stage Manager performs until we try it on an earlier iPad Pro, but the A12X and A12Z CPUs are still rather potent, so we can expect that the experience isn’t much different from that of an M1 iPad. While the lack of external display capability is disappointing, this is still good news for those who have purchased Apple’s most costly iPads in the recent past.
Apple Told Engadget About The Update:
Stage Manager is a brand new method to multitask, allowing you to run as many as eight live apps at once across the iPad’s screen and a second, external display. Only iPads with the M1 chip can provide the processing power required for this kind of multi-display functionality.
Customers have shown a great desire to use Stage Manager on their iPad Pro 3rd and 4th generation devices. Our teams have been hard at work on a single-screen version of these technologies, which allows for the simultaneous use of up to four apps on an iPad’s display.
In a subsequent software update this year, Stage Manager on M1 iPads will be able to handle an external monitor.