At Apple's WWDC conference on June 6, iPadOS 16 was announced with a focus on desktop features, something users have been asking for with iPad for years.
The main feature of this was Stage Manager, which allows an iPad to use up to four apps at once, and you can resize those apps to whatever size you want, finally bringing windowed apps to the tablet.
Another benefit of this is also enabling external display support, so you can use up to eight apps at once, with four on each screen, and using the left panel of Stage Manager you can easily switch between the apps you want to focus on.
However, as cool as this feature sounds, the problem is that it's only available on iPads with the M1 chip, except for the latest iPad mini.
M1 or bust?
Since the announcement of the M1 iPad Pro in April 2021, users did not know why. Why did an Apple Silicon chip that was available in the Mac find its way into the tablet when software barely took advantage of it?
Some expected WWDC in 2021 to take advantage of the iPad Pro M1, but the biggest change in iPadOS 15 was to the widgets on the home screen.
Over the months, the iPad Air and iPad mini would also get the M1 chip, with users wondering if that made any sense, when the software clearly wasn't taking advantage of what the chip had to offer.
I love how I can now use my iPad as a dashboard 😎 pic.twitter.com/9lPppp0W9uJune 7, 2022
But we got our answer with iPadOS 16, as it clearly allows Stage Manager to elevate the tablet into a machine that can be extended to another screen and use the new multitasking features.
However, the flip side of this poses problems for those who have an iPad without an M1 chip inside.
If you have an iPad Air (5th generation), iPad Pro 12,9-inch (5th generation), or iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation), you can use Stage Manager, but if you don't , it still has limitations to multitasking that we have since iPadOS 13.
At the same time, if you recently bought an iPad mini with the M1 chip, you still don't get Stage Manager, but given its 8.1-inch screen, that's understandable, but fair.
While this expands the iPad's capabilities, the feature is more than capable of working on older iPad Pro models, like the 2018 redesign that brought FaceID and a full-screen look to the lineup.
Limiting this to newer iPads would mean users would have to think about what they're using their tablet for and whether Stage Manager is the deciding factor in their upgrade to a newer iPad, or wait to see if Apple accepts and allows the feature. to be used on some older models.