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Zelda Chestnut

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 4, 2018
68
35
I’m curious what everyone’s thoughts on Stage Manager are so far? I am using a 5th gen iPad Air, and there’s a part of me that wants to love it. When it works well, it’s great. I like the way it brings to front the app you‘re working in, while the others gently fall to the background (but remain running). On my Air, I find that three apps is the sweet spot. Four apps seems a little crowded, but I am looking forward to external display support where I think four apps will be great on my 27” monitor. An aspect of Stage Manager that is really frustrating though, is that sometimes it resizes my apps every time I leave them. It wasn’t doing that for me this morning, but now it seems to be. I don’t know if this is a bug that sporadically occurs or if Apple intends for this, but either way I hope that Apple fixes and removes that.

I guess I’d give it a 3.5/5 stars as it is right now. How about everyone else? What are your thoughts, and what would you rate it?
 
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TheColtr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2014
546
744
California
I’m using stage manager on my 11in M1 Pro. I want to love it, I really do. evey time I picked up a surface pro in tablet mode Ive thought “I wish my iPad could do this, have multiple resizable windows open at the same time.” But it’s not the same.

I think size of Apps plays a role. Windows apps have smaller touch targets than iPadOS does, maybe if the scaling on the iPad could go even smaller than it does right now?

I also think that the resizing is just sad. I want resizing like on macOS, not shuffling through size classes.

and last I just want to be able to move windows where I want without this shuffling of windows. If I want a app to overlap let me, dont move the back window to the other size.

personally, as a spaces user on macOS, I’d rather just have Mission Control and spaces on the iPad. But then it starts to become macOS. Truthfully I’d rather have iPadOS without stage manager, with an option to boot into macOS when I want that kind of system.
 

petvas

macrumors 603
Jul 20, 2006
5,479
1,808
Munich, Germany
As a Mac user, I don‘t like it and I think it doesn’t bring any value to the Mac. On my 11“ iPad Pro I also failed to see the point of it, especially when using the iPad as a tablet only. Today I got the new M2 12.9“ iPad Pro and I have to say that I was very surprised to really like Stage Manager on the big iPad. It‘s not perfect but it provides a good way to switch between running apps. It also allows for having windows of different apps on the same „Stage“, despite its shortcomings.
In the iPad the Dock doesn’t show the running apps, so having Stage Manager definitely helps. What I want to see from Apple in the future are the following features:
  • Trackpad Gestures to bring up the Stage Manager
  • Keyboard shortcuts for Stage Manager
  • Links from any app should always open on the same Stage
I cannot share the many negative comments from various bloggers, like on MacStories..

On the Mac though the Stage Manager is totally useless. (But this is not the forum for that)
 

Zelda Chestnut

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 4, 2018
68
35
As a Mac user, I don‘t like it and I think it doesn’t bring any value to the Mac. On my 11“ iPad Pro I also failed to see the point of it, especially when using the iPad as a tablet only. Today I got the new M2 12.9“ iPad Pro and I have to say that I was very surprised to really like Stage Manager on the big iPad. It‘s not perfect but it provides a good way to switch between running apps. It also allows for having windows of different apps on the same „Stage“, despite its shortcomings.
In the iPad the Dock doesn’t show the running apps, so having Stage Manager definitely helps. What I want to see from Apple in the future are the following features:
  • Trackpad Gestures to bring up the Stage Manager
  • Keyboard shortcuts for Stage Manager
  • Links from any app should always open on the same Stage
I cannot share the many negative comments from various bloggers, like on MacStories..

On the Mac though the Stage Manager is totally useless. (But this is not the forum for that)
Yeah, that makes sense that on the 12.9 it’s a better experience. I’m glad you’re getting to enjoy it on your new M2 Pro! That’s why I’m really excited for the external display support, I think it’ll make a lot more sense on iPad with that. Although I’ve been forcing myself to use it on my 5th gen Air and I gotta say I am getting used to it. It hasn’t pulled the annoying window resizing on me today, so I am happier with it lol. I like your ideas about what they could add in the future. I agree that its not perfect, but its definitely a step in the right direction in finally allowing the iPad to have more of a desktop-like experience for those who would like to use it as such.
 
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JustSomebody12

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2020
345
374
Opinions about Stage Manager: good, but would benefit from a few refinements.

The closing or relocation of “floating windows” is hard to understand and handle.

The keyboard should be made less intrusive.
 
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Gherkin

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2004
678
307
I’m basically just using it as an app switcher and I kind of like it this way. On my iPad, I’m generally using the same 5 or so apps, so I hid the dock and just have the “cards” for the other four recent apps up on the left. Then I make the window I’m using as big as possible without going full screen.

I like using my iPad this way, though maybe it’s just the novelty of it and I’ll switch back.

I’m wondering why there’s a bar of unused space on the right side of apps though when you have them as big as possible w/o going into full screen? Example here…
 

petvas

macrumors 603
Jul 20, 2006
5,479
1,808
Munich, Germany
Stage Manager has still a long way to go. Why only have 4 Stages on the left? Why not be able to move and resize windows as you wish?
I think that iPadOS lacks the Windows Management framework that macOS and Windows have. This is the main problem and until Apples makes it available on iPadOS, Stage Manager will just be an add-on, that some users will use, and others will just ignore.
We should also consider that an iPad is primarily a tablet, so Stage Manager shouldn’t change that in any way..
 
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Menel

Suspended
Aug 4, 2011
6,351
1,356
I like it when it works, but a few apps are hokey. As they get updated maybe it'll be nice.
It does feel like the ipad is trying too hard to be something it's not.
 

bondr006

macrumors 68030
Jun 8, 2010
2,601
16,411
Cary, NC - My Name is Rob Bond
I have seen a lot of hate for Stage Manager on the internet, and I don't understand it. Been waiting for external monitor support for years, and now we have it. People are angry that it's not a MacOS clone or Windows clone. I am glad it's not. It is windowing for iPadOS, and I like it quite a bit. I am sure they will iron out the bugs and it will mature just like any other software, but I am just happy that I can use my iPad as a desktop device now, and loving it. Been using computers since the early 80's, so it is fun to have a new experience that changes things up a bit. About the only thing that irks me about stage manager, is that the sound defaults to the external monitor whether it has speakers or not. Somewhat of a pita, but hopefully they will give us some sound settings to control where we want the sound to output at some point.

iPad Desktop Setup 1.png
 
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nohairdave

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2014
5
2
I just don't get stage manager (esp on mac) - most pointless feature ever. IMHO Magnet + spaces is a much better solution. Instead of Stage Manager, Apple could have spent a bit of time improving spaces (maybe adding some rule-based/AI placement of windows (esp for switching between laptop and external monitors), being able to "save" what is in a space and being able to restore the apps, giving a space a name),- now that would have been something. Magnet could do with some tweaking for ultrawide monitors.
 

jclardy

macrumors 601
Oct 6, 2008
4,199
4,505
I’m loving it on my iPad, and trying it out on my mac (I currently use 4-5 spaces with 1-2 fullscreen apps. Now I use one stage manager space, with the 2 fullscreen apps.)

My main issue with it is how fiddly window sizing is. When using my iPad as an iPad and carrying around, I now have to try not to rotate it, lest I have to manually resize every window just because the screen rotated. Some windows are fine, it seems like the “iPhone sized” skinny windows are the issue, they always end up at half width when rotated back from portrait.

Also, just give us window chrome please. the little three dot menu is super annoying, I‘d rather just have a close button.

And one last thing with window sizing - I want an option where I can have an 80% window (IE safari) + a 20% window (IE twitter) side by side, while still showing the stage switcher. If you want a large window with another window, it forces you to hide it as it wants the apps to take up the full width. I should also be able to do a window that fills up the entire right side of the screen without having to perfectly center the window (Again to avoid hiding the stage switcher.)

Lots of work and improvements are needed, but I am using my iPad way more and feel a lot less constrained when using it.
 

jonnyb098

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2010
4,103
5,839
Michigan
I’m loving it on my iPad, and trying it out on my mac (I currently use 4-5 spaces with 1-2 fullscreen apps. Now I use one stage manager space, with the 2 fullscreen apps.)

My main issue with it is how fiddly window sizing is. When using my iPad as an iPad and carrying around, I now have to try not to rotate it, lest I have to manually resize every window just because the screen rotated. Some windows are fine, it seems like the “iPhone sized” skinny windows are the issue, they always end up at half width when rotated back from portrait.

Also, just give us window chrome please. the little three dot menu is super annoying, I‘d rather just have a close button.

And one last thing with window sizing - I want an option where I can have an 80% window (IE safari) + a 20% window (IE twitter) side by side, while still showing the stage switcher. If you want a large window with another window, it forces you to hide it as it wants the apps to take up the full width. I should also be able to do a window that fills up the entire right side of the screen without having to perfectly center the window (Again to avoid hiding the stage switcher.)

Lots of work and improvements are needed, but I am using my iPad way more and feel a lot less constrained when using it.
This is exactly why I can’t use it…rotating the iPad screws up window sizing. iPad is supposed to be powerful yet simple and this is the most un-apple feature they’ve ever done in terms of execution. We all know what they’re going for but they fell flat on their face trying to do it. it should never have been released on ipad in its current state. It’s embarrassing.
 

Zelda Chestnut

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 4, 2018
68
35
I just don't get stage manager (esp on mac) - most pointless feature ever. IMHO Magnet + spaces is a much better solution. Instead of Stage Manager, Apple could have spent a bit of time improving spaces (maybe adding some rule-based/AI placement of windows (esp for switching between laptop and external monitors), being able to "save" what is in a space and being able to restore the apps, giving a space a name),- now that would have been something. Magnet could do with some tweaking for ultrawide monitors.
Hey, I‘m curious: what is Magnet? Is that an app?
 

Zelda Chestnut

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 4, 2018
68
35
I have seen a lot of hate for Stage Manager on the internet, and I don't understand it. Been waiting for external monitor support for years, and now we have it. People are angry that it's not a MacOS clone or Windows clone. I am glad it's not. It is windowing for iPadOS, and I like it quite a bit. I am sure they will iron out the bugs and it will mature just like any other software, but I am just happy that I can use my iPad as a desktop device now, and loving it. Been using computers since the early 80's, so it is fun to have a new experience that changes things up a bit. About the only thing that irks me about stage manager, is that the sound defaults to the external monitor whether it has speakers or not. Somewhat of a pita, but hopefully they will give us some sound settings to control where we want the sound to output at some point.

View attachment 2107520
I agree, I ultimately like it! Yes, it is not perfect and I hope they iron out the kinks sooner rather than later, but I think it’s overall a good experience. Are you already using it with external monitor support? I thought that was delayed, wasn’t it? Or am I missing something?
 
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bondr006

macrumors 68030
Jun 8, 2010
2,601
16,411
Cary, NC - My Name is Rob Bond
I agree, I ultimately like it! Yes, it is not perfect and I hope they iron out the kinks sooner rather than later, but I think it’s overall a good experience. Are you already using it with external monitor support? I thought that was delayed, wasn’t it? Or am I missing something?
Hi. Yes, I am using the external monitor support on my M1 iPad 11. I am using the latest iOS 16.2 public beta, and they brought back external monitor support. I love it. Yes it has some maturing to do, but overall I am excited that I finally get to use my iPad as a desktop device.
 
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Zelda Chestnut

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 4, 2018
68
35
Hi. Yes, I am using the external monitor support on my M1 iPad 11. I am using the latest iOS 16.2 public beta, and they brought back external monitor support. I love it. Yes it has some maturing to do, but overall I am excited that I finally get to use my iPad as a desktop device.
Ahh the public beta, ok! I really want external display support! Do you think it’s safe to install? I just went to the Apple site and in the agreement, there’s a section where they have in bold and capital letters that if something goes wrong, they’re not liable (in other words, of course). That makes me hesitant, lol.
 
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bondr006

macrumors 68030
Jun 8, 2010
2,601
16,411
Cary, NC - My Name is Rob Bond
@Zelda Chestnut I have been using the public betas of 16 since they were available. I have had no troubles with them on my M1 iPad Pro 11. And yes, it is your own responsibility if anything goes wrong. Just make sure you do a backup first, which is a good idea even when updating regular non beta updates. If I didn't know I was using this public beta, I would just think it's a regular update. Stage Manager needs to mature, but that is not a surprise. Any new feature will get better and mature over time. I love Stage Manager and the external monitor support. Being able to use my iPad as a desktop device is just the cats meow to me. I love it. If you want to try it, it is easy to install.

1. Go to beta.apple.com on Safari on your iPad
2. Sign up with your Apple account
3. Pick iPadOS
4. Under "Get Started", click on "enroll your iPad"
5. On the next page under "Install Profile", click on the "Download profile" button
6. Follow onscreen instructions, and your iPad will restart
7. Tap Settings > General > Software Update to install any available beta software.

That's it! It is very simple. You will need a way to connect your iPad to the monitor, whether it's a HDMI to USB C cord, or a USB C HUB and HDMI cable, or depending on the monitor you have, a USB C to USB C cable. I hope you will love having external monitor support as much as I do. Enjoy!
 
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martens

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2019
141
56
I'd like to be able to hide the Dock when in Stage Manager, and have more space for the main app.

I see you can zoom the main app with Globe+F, but that hotkey should be a toggle (to un-zoom) and it is not.
 
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Ludatyk

macrumors 603
May 27, 2012
5,812
4,902
Texas
I'd like to be able to hide the Dock when in Stage Manager, and have more space for the main app.

I see you can zoom the main app with Globe+F, but that hotkey should be a toggle (to un-zoom) and it is not.
There’s two ways to go about hiding the dock… from Control Center or via Settings within Display & Brightness.
 
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bondr006

macrumors 68030
Jun 8, 2010
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Cary, NC - My Name is Rob Bond
I'd like to be able to hide the Dock when in Stage Manager, and have more space for the main app.

I see you can zoom the main app with Globe+F, but that hotkey should be a toggle (to un-zoom) and it is not.
As @Ludatyk said, there are two ways to hide the dock and Recent Apps groups to make more room on the screen. The first one is going into Control Center and clicking on the Stage Manager icon, then long press the icon, and you will have the option to hide the dock or the Recent Apps, or both. The second way, is to open Settings, click on Home Screen & Multitasking, then click on Stage Manager, and again, you will be able to hide the Dock and Recent Apps.

Here is a video I made showing how.
 
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