Apple’s Stage Manager still wonky as iPadOS 16 release looms

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.

With full external display support, Stage Manager allows users to arrange their ideal workspace and work with up to eight apps simultaneously.
With full external display support, Stage Manager allows users to arrange their ideal workspace and work with up to eight apps simultaneously.

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.

Joe Rossignol for MacRumors:

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.

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:

  1. Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
  2. There is no step two.

Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

MacDailyNews, December 29, 2015

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  1. Windowing on training wheels…the question should be asked if a windowing system beyond split-view and slide on 13” or smaller screens will ever make sense? Stage Manager seems to be turning into a Frankenstein with both sides of the opinion camp not happy with it.

    Two camps:
    1. People that use iPads exclusively or as their primary device. These people made a conscious choice to learn a new way to multitask that fits their way of computing.

    People that use Desktops/Laptops as their primary and the iPad is an accessory. These people want the iPad to adopt their traditional idea of what multitasking is.

  2. Are you joking? What size screens have we had on MacBooks running for the last 20+ years: 13″,12″,11″. Stage Manager is most certainly a Frankenstein, but it’s because of Apple’s stubbornness to differentiate iPad OS from Mac OS come hell or high water. Perhaps there are some basic limitations inherent to Apple’s mobile OS but Apple has a long record of hobbling devices to increase margins and multiple device sales so this is nothing new.

    Whatever “conscious choices” iPad-only users made to twist themselves into a pretzel to use only that device doesn’t have anything to do with normal laptop users being able to arrange windows effectively. It’s not either or, you can have both. The more I hear this line of reasoning the more it seems these mythical “iPad only” users don’t want anyone else to have options because it would undermine their virtuous and brave decision to adapt to what is clearly an intentionally flawed OS.

    1. You sorta prove my point, the 11, 12, and 13 inch MacBooks you reference above are all discontinued due to poor sales except the 13 MacBook Pro, yet iPad sales continue to grow on average…why do you think that is?

      Shopping, gaming, email, video, web surfacing, casual photo editing, reading books…this is the typical iPad only user…this is one or two apps at a time stuff, how is that mythical or twisting yourself into a pretzel? You don’t need an iPad along with a laptop/desktop for that and the average consumer knows this, they’re not stupid.

      Nate, all I’m saying is if you think you need tiled windowing to feel productive on an iPad, your a niche user and so am I, and the iPad may not be your device, but the typical iPad user is not going to care nor do I think they’ll really use it.

      This is like someone buying a truck to haul stuff and then complaining that his new car can’t carry as much stuff. Two different computing platforms, two different use cases, but expecting the same results.

      I wouldn’t complain that my car can’t haul as much as a truck, nor would I tack a bed on my car and expect it to work the same as a truck.

      1. “Shopping, gaming, email, video, web surfacing, casual photo editing, reading books…this is the typical iPad only user”

        I agree but an M1 iPad Pro / Air is totally overkill for that. So that begs the question, what then, is the purpose of an M1 iPad when the $329 iPad can adquately fill that purpose?

      2. Apple struggles to move low cost MacBooks because they always overprice them. Apple gave up using Macs as a mass market device a decade ago; it’s positioned iOS as the mass market device, obviously to enjoy the easy iOS store revenue.

        This is a strategic mistake because it lets Microsoft continue to hold dominance over most premium software in all industries except perhaps audio/video production. That’s unfortunate because for most users, a Mac can do a lot more, and more efficiently, than any iPad. Everyone I know who tried to replace a Mac with an iPad gave up on it. At some point the inefficiencies and single-port stupidity becomes too frustrating. Unfortunately the Apple Tax and real software requirements prompt ~90% of households to get a PC. An affordable durable entry-level plastic MacBook is sorely needed. Not a single-port executive priced wafer thin pink alyoooominyum MacBook Air, and not a Surface wannabe with kludged windowing and half-assed multiprocessing.

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