Why is Apple afraid to allow real multitasking on iPad?

Stage Manager is a new multitasking experience for iPad that automatically organizes apps and windows, but it’s not like real multitasking on a Mac.

On iPad, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes in a single view, drag and drop windows from the side, or open apps from the Dock to create groups of apps for faster, more flexible multitasking. The window of the app users are working on is displayed prominently in the center, and other open apps and windows are arranged on the left-hand side in order of recency.

Why is Apple afraid to allow real multitasking on iPad? With Stage Manager, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes, drag and drop windows from the side, and open apps from the Dock to create groups.
With Stage Manager, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes, drag and drop windows from the side, and open apps from the Dock to create groups.

Available on iPad Pro and iPad Air with the M1 chip, Stage Manager also unlocks full external display support with resolutions of up to 6K, so users can arrange their workspace(s), and work with up to four apps on iPad and four apps on the external display.

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

The company deserves kudos for trying to create a new interface, but the correct approach was much easier: simply using the existing macOS multitasking system.

An iPad that lets users run as many windows on one screen as they want, like a Mac, would be terrific. The good news is that Stage Manager starts to build in some of the technologies—like window resizing and multiple windows at the same time—that will ideally make that happen eventually…

If Stage Manager has any pros, it’s the external display mode, which makes it easier to work with a second screen. I think that mode is compelling and useful. Perhaps Apple should have made Stage Manager exclusive to additional displays…

I’m not the only one with this view of Stage Manager. One developer I spoke to agrees that the system is far more complicated than if Apple just replicated tried-and-true Mac multitasking. And it requires you to learn a bunch of new terms that no one will understand fully, the developer noted.

I think that Apple will ultimately need to give in and make multitasking on the iPad more like the Mac, but I can’t help but feel that one reason they’ve declined to do so is to push users to own both types of devices.

MacDailyNews Take: Why is Apple afraid to allow real multitasking on iPad? MacBook sales.

Apple should not be afraid to cannibalize themselves, lest they be cannibalized by someone else.

If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will. – Steve Jobs

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  1. Yeah. It seems like they have a dose of the disease that IBM used to have, where you try to prevent your products from competing with other of your products in certain ways in an effort to preserve the market share of things. The problem is that other companies sell across those lines and eat your lunch eventually.

  2. Multitasking on the iPad is not an issue if your workflow supports it. It’s my only computing device for work and has been for 8 years. If users want a Mac like multitasking experience, then just get a Mac. These are two different computing form factors, and that’s ok.

      1. Nick, don’t be a Dick…never said everyone should do as I do, I explained that it works for me. You can already do 3 windows with split screen with a 4th pop up window for video, on a device with a 12.9 inch screen adding more windows becomes counterproductive and if you use the iPad for work and not just consumption, you would’ve figure this out a long, long time ago. So if you really need a lot of windows, the iPad is NOT your device for multitasking. If you can do your job without needing a bunch of windows – great.

        1. Well said James. Nick was thick in his assertions, but that’s probably his shtick. Nick’s lack of ticker shows that yes, he really was being a dick. Nick, please don’t be a fickle hick, just stick to lighting your wick with a quick flick of a match so you can see where you’re going, because your current anti-James trajectory is quite sick.

  3. When I first entered the Apple world, years ago, I bought an iMac that let me dual boot into either osX or os 9, as software wasn’t available for X.
    I had an iPad Pro and used it as my main “computer” for months, until the M1 mini came out, and many times wished that I could dual boot, iPad os and macOS on the iPad.

    1. Any Mac allows one to boot to any startup drive you choose, with whatever hardware-supported OSes you have.

      With iOS, Apple has locked down the platform specially to take OS and ultimately software choice out of the hands of the user. You bought a dumb terminal that, locked down by Apple, will perform only those tasks the mothership nannies deem acceptable. Very little can run without constant internet monitoring. This feeds Apple’s ad business and subscriptionware strategy. Despite the apologists here, it is the antithesis to everything that made the Mac a great platform.

      If you want a personal computer, buy a Mac or a PC. If you want a thin client, buy iOS and keep wondering why Apple cripples it.

      I would never buy a tablet that supported iOS, even if it has dual boot capacity. Once the nannies have their hooks into your machine, you are no longer the operator. You are the dumb terminal client. Don’t forget to send Apple your subscription this month, kiddos.

      1. Most folks who aren’t airheads know that macOS is a ‘traditional’ mouse-based-FILE/directory-based OS, whereas iOS/iPadOS is a newer touch-based-APP-based OS. In the first, files rule, and consequently these devices are best for designing and building. In the latter, apps rule, and these devices are best for media consumption. It’s so straight forward one wonders where the confusion comes in. Yes, there is some app overlap between the two OS concepts but generally they are designed for mostly different functions AND both are brilliant. There are some tasks that without a mouse are tedious beyond belief and are best handled on macOS. Other tasks lend themselves beautifully to a touch interface and can be handled nicely in iOS/iPadOS. I have a MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro and can’t imagine being without either. When I want to read an ebook, I grab the iPad because reading ebooks on laptops/desktops is a drag. When I want to write a letter I grab the laptop because editing and formatting with a mouse and touchpad is so much easier. Many people who now own Apple laptops/desktops running macOS actually have no idea that they can be configured for multi-user use, that powerful ADMIN and ROOT user accounts can be created on them, and that the Terminal app enables command-line control of the computer like in ye olde computer dark ages before personal computers. It’s all there for the smarties who know how to use that power. If one only wants to deal with emails/texts and play computer games, then an iPad (with or without a keyboard cover) is more than sufficient. Apple has done an amazing job cross-migrating app functionality WHERE IT MAKES SENSE between the two OS concepts. I cannot imagine using Apple’s office apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) on anything but a laptop/desktop, and yet they actually provide touch versions of these apps for iOS/iPadOS. Document files created on macOS can be easily handed off to iOS/iPadOS through iCloud for review.

  4. Apple specifically designed iOS to be closed down so that users can no longer choose their operating system or, eventually, their software. You purchased a dumb terminal from Apple that can only accomplish the things the mothership nannies think appropriate. Without continuous internet surveillance, very little can function. This supports Apple’s subscription software and advertising businesses. Despite the defenders, it is the complete opposite of what made the Mac such a terrific platform.

  5. It’s hard to maintain a pro-iPad stance when Apple keeps it hobbled. If you want a “real” computer that can multitask like a Mac, has real multiuser capability, is secure like a Mac, has tons of apps, you can develop software on it, you have access to the command line for scripting and automation, then get a Mac.

    New MacBook Air:$1699

    Apple M2 chip with 8‑core CPU, 10‑core GPU, 16‑core Neural Engine
    16GB unified memory
    512GB SSD storage
    13.6-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone
    1080p FaceTime HD camera
    MagSafe 3 charging port
    Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
    35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter
    Backlit Magic Keyboard with Touch ID – US English
    Accessory Kit
    Photos, iMovie, GarageBand
    Pages, Numbers, Keynote

    New 12.9 inch iPad Pro
    ——- $2399.00

    There is no comparison. Anyone with a brain is gong to buy the New MacBook Air.

    The MacBook Air requires no commitment to making technology work, to make it hyper-productive. You have to be determined to make the iPad work for you in most professional situations.

    And yet, I love the darned things.

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