Taking advantage of the power of the M1 chip, iPadOs 16’s Stage Manager feature brings a new way to multitask with multiple overlapping windows and full external display support.
Stage Manager is an entirely new multitasking experience that automatically organizes apps and windows, making it quick and easy to switch between tasks. For the first time 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.
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 the ideal workspace, and work with up to four apps on iPad and four apps on the external display.
In the latest iPadOS 16 beta seeded earlier this week, developer Steve Troughton-Smith and MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci highlighted various user interface issues they continue to face from time to time while using Stage Manager, including the dock disappearing when rotating the iPad, content failing to scale properly when a window is resized, keyboard input failing to register in certain apps, and more.
In August, Viticci criticized Apple for its “fundamentally misguided” approach to Stage Manager. The feature has improved in the weeks since, but it’s clear from the latest beta that several issues persist even as iPadOS 16 nears release.
A tour of the latest Stage Manager beta for iPadOS 16:
– Rotated my iPad and the dock was gone
– Black borders around windows
– The keyboard freezes in apps like Mail and @theSpringApp after opening new windows
– I resized a window and it blew up in my face
So there's that. pic.twitter.com/Twi5K3SeSH
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) October 4, 2022
We’ve come to the end of the dev cycle, and Stage Manager is still forwarding events to apps that should be gobbled by the system — e.g. dragging a titlebar to move a window is still sending that drag event into the app itself too. It also conflicts with swipe to go back pic.twitter.com/TX0uUFkCAV
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) October 4, 2022
MacDailyNews Take: Stage Manager is a windowing system with training wheels. Why Apple feels the need is beyond us. Just give us a real Mac-like windowing system that users can decide to enable or not.
As we wrote coming up on seven years ago (prior to iPadOS being cleaved from iOS):
Imagine an “iOS Pro” mode.
Turn on iOS Pro on your iPad Pro:
- Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
- There is no step two.
Hey, we can dream, can’t we?
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