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With the latest beta of iPadOS 16.1 that was provided to developers today, the Stage Manager feature has expanded to the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models. We thought we'd test it out on an older iPad Pro to see how it works, because Apple spent several months telling us that it didn't offer a satisfactory experience on non M1 iPads.


Stage Manager is the biggest feature of iPadOS 16, and prior to today, it was limited to the M1 iPad Pro and the M1 iPad Air, Apple's newest iPads from 2021. Older iPad Pro models from 2018 and 2020 were not able to use Stage Manager, leading to complaints from iPad owners.

Apple initially said that Stage Manager was only able to offer the ideal experience on the M1 iPads, but in a statement today, the company said that it was able to figure out a way to bring Stage Manager to iPad Pro models using the A12Z and A12X chips. These iPads can use Stage Manager on device, but will not have access to the external display integration with multi-display support.

In fact, Apple has removed external display support from the iPadOS 16.1 beta entirely, and when it is returned later this year, it will continue to be limited to M1 iPad models. So the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models can use Stage Manager, but not in its full implementation with an external display.

Stage Manager on device is limited to four apps in use at one time, while with an external display, up to eight apps can be open. In our side-by-side testing, Stage Manager worked well on the 2018 iPad Pro, though it was not as quick as the M1 iPad Pro.

The launch of iPadOS 16 was delayed to give Apple time to work on Stage Manager, because it was buggy and there were complaints about its functionality. Apple has been improving it beta by beta, and it is a much smoother experience than it was a few weeks ago.

Have you tried Stage Manager on a 2018 or 2020 iPad Pro? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Article Link: Testing Stage Manager on a 2018 iPad Pro With the New iPadOS 16.1 Beta
 

eicca

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2014
1,218
1,757
Stage Manager is 2006 technology. It'll run on anything if they allow it. But, gotta sell new iPads.

Second opinion: If an ancient Intel processor can multitask better than every iPad currently on the market, that pretty much guarantees that Stage Manager "limitations" are just product-pushing tactics.

 

SamRyouji

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2016
187
709
At least Apple relented and give Stage Manager to previous gen iPad Pro. That's some people power proof there.

As for the external display support that got dropped on 16.1 beta, does that means the M1 ipad Pro is not gonna be able to use it? If that's the case, then I think there's a serious issue with that feature that made Apple dropped it like it's hot temporarily.
 

citysnaps

macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
9,887
20,629
Stage Manager is 2006 technology. It'll run on anything if they allow it. But, gotta sell new iPads.

Looks like you missed this:

"In fact, Apple has removed external display support from the iPadOS 16.1 beta entirely, and when it is returned later this year, it will continue to be limited to M1 iPad models. So the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models can use Stage Manager, but not in its full implementation with an external display."
 

citysnaps

macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
9,887
20,629
At least Apple relented and give Stage Manager to previous gen iPad Pro. That's some people power proof there.

As for the external display support that got dropped on 16.1 beta, does that means the M1 ipad Pro is not gonna be able to use it? If that's the case, then I think there's a serious issue with that feature that made Apple dropped it like it's hot temporarily.

It can't use an external display in multi-display while running Stage Manager.
 

deuxani

macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2010
692
710
I’m really happy to see this. I felt totally screwed when I heard Stage Manager was not coming to the 2020 Pro, especially because I really was waiting for real windowing on the iPad. I was so disappointed in Apple, but this change does restore my faith in them a little. It’s really surprising to see them making this change.
 

eicca

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2014
1,218
1,757
Looks like you missed this:

"In fact, Apple has removed external display support from the iPadOS 16.1 beta entirely, and when it is returned later this year, it will continue to be limited to M1 iPad models. So the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models can use Stage Manager, but not in its full implementation with an external display."
I didn’t miss it, it’s a lousy made-up limitation to make it look like older iPads can’t run 2006 technology.
 

Leon Ze Professional

macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2021
327
1,456
Looks like you missed this:

"In fact, Apple has removed external display support from the iPadOS 16.1 beta entirely, and when it is returned later this year, it will continue to be limited to M1 iPad models. So the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models can use Stage Manager, but not in its full implementation with an external display."
I was waiting for this as I knew there would always be a catch. Good to see Apple eat humble pie occasionally. Especially when it benefits the consumer using older hardware.
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
17,097
17,311
Singapore
At least Apple relented and give Stage Manager to previous gen iPad Pro. That's some people power proof there.

As for the external display support that got dropped on 16.1 beta, does that means the M1 ipad Pro is not gonna be able to use it? If that's the case, then I think there's a serious issue with that feature that made Apple dropped it like it's hot temporarily.

I think what people really wanted was the external monitor support (or at least a way to get rid of the black bars while mirroring their iPad).
 

code-m

macrumors 68040
Apr 13, 2006
3,293
3,035
Seems to be working fine to me on the 2018 model however Dan is this the 4GB RAM or 6GB RAM hardware. I presume the 2020 iPad Pro models might handle it a little better.

StageManager:

M1 = 8 Apps
12Z = 6 Apps
12X = 4 Apps

Who knows I would prefer that if a 12X or Z was attached to an external monitor it would display in extended mode and disable StageManager. Extended Display Mode should technically be under the Display option tbh.
 

macduke

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
12,290
17,582
Central U.S.
Stage Manager is 2006 technology. It'll run on anything if they allow it. But, gotta sell new iPads.

Second opinion: If an ancient Intel processor can multitask better than every iPad currently on the market, that pretty much guarantees that Stage Manager "limitations" are just product-pushing tactics.

They advertise 10 hours of battery life so they have to hit that target. My 2008 MBP battery rarely lasted longer than a couple hours by comparison, lol. And this thing is several times thinner. Even my 2019 16" MBP battery only lasts about half as long.

These things are fast, but they have to optimize the hell out of the background processes with these thin batteries compared to a MacBook Air/Pro.

So they've brought this tech to 2018 and 2020 models, specifically after saying they weren't, and yet you're still complaining that they're trying to sell new iPads? Unbelievable.
 

Monsieur Arykovère

macrumors newbie
Oct 10, 2011
19
27
I don’t understand what was wrong with the present AppSwitcher and Extended Display Mode be incorporated. This just seems like Apple is overthinking this implementation, it could have borrowed what was already present on MacOS.
Yeah, I’m somewhat glad that Stage Manager is coming to my 2018 iPad Pro, but in the end, I don’t think Stage Manager really fixes the iPad’s problems.

They could just give it a macOS dual boot option and call it a day, but instead they’re making their iPad team remake basic features from the ground up just so that they won’t be the same as macOS, but that’s proving to be too difficult for them.
 

eicca

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2014
1,218
1,757
They advertise 10 hours of battery life so they have to hit that target. My 2008 MBP battery rarely lasted longer than a couple hours by comparison, lol. And this thing is several times thinner. Even my 2019 16" MBP battery only lasts about half as long.

These things are fast, but they have to optimize the hell out of the background processes with these thin batteries compared to a MacBook Air/Pro.

So they've brought this tech to 2018 and 2020 models, specifically after saying they weren't, and yet you're still complaining that they're trying to sell new iPads? Unbelievable.
They’re only bringing it to older models because they got caught trying to limit a 2006 idea to their most powerful SOC claiming “hardware limitation.” It’s blatantly obvious if you’re not an apologist fanboy.
 

eicca

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2014
1,218
1,757
I used the beta of macOS years ago in 2006 that had stage manager and it worked with an external display. An iPad Pro from 2018 is faster than the MacBook in 2006 I had running it with. So yes, @eicca is correct.
And let’s not forget that just about any iPad (not just Pro models) running iPadOS 16 is going to be orders of magnitude more powerful than the computers that first ran Stage Manager on external displays back in the day.
 
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