Stage Manager is Apple’s solution to improving (or at least trying) the iPad’s multitasking system. This feature allows users to run apps in windowed mode, but there’s a catch: it only works with the iPad Air M1 and iPad Pro. Apple hasn’t said a word at this point about changing the feature requirements, but we’ve found a way to see how Stage Manager will work on the iPad mini.
How Stage Manager Works
First of all, if you haven’t seen the Stage Manager in action, it basically brings windows to iPadOS 16″. However, there are still some limitations when resizing and moving apps around the screen. It’s not quite what you get on a Mac or Windows PC, but it certainly makes the iPad feel more like a real computer.
Unfortunately, only iPads equipped with the M1 chip support Stage Manager. Apple said it put the M1 chip as a requirement because Stage Manager allows users to open up to eight apps at a time. Stage Manager also allows full support for displays beyond resolutions up to 6K, and it’s not surprising that Apple claims that other iPads don’t have enough performance for this.
Some users don’t seem to believe Apple’s claims are some of them are quite controversial. For example, the company argues that Stage Manager benefits from the fast memory swapping capabilities available only on the M1 chip. However, iPad Air 5 64GB, running Stage Manager, missing swap RAM.
Stage Manager on iPad mini
Officially, there is no way to enable Stage Manager on non-M1 iPads. However, 9to5Mac found an internal mode hidden in the iPadOS 16 . code enable Stage Manager on any iPad running the latest version of the operating system. Since there is no jailbreak tool available for iPadOS 16, we weren’t able to enable it on real iPads, but we were able to take a look at it using the iOS Simulator – an Apple tool that allows developers test their apps on a Mac.
More interesting than seeing Stage Manager in action on the previous generation iPad Pro or iPad Air, I was wondering what the feature would look like on the iPad mini. And here’s what I just found out.
Of course, the iPad mini’s screen is too small for an advanced multitasking system, but Stage Manager can still be found quite useful for some iPad mini users. I took some screenshots of the iOS Simulator and sent them to my iPad mini so I could better understand Stage Manager usability in terms of interface size. Honestly, everything looks good enough to me.
You can open three iPhone-sized apps side by side without affecting usability, which seems perfect for checking multiple social networks while you read something. You can also open a larger window while leaving smaller windows running in the background to quickly switch between them, which is great for dragging and dropping items.
Current iPads can already open up to three apps simultaneously with Split View and Slide Over, but the experience is much more limited because you can’t have all three apps side by side.
Will Apple ever change that?
Some of the users are get ready a limited edition of Stage Manager available for non-M1 iPads, but Apple has never said if they will ever do this.
After seeing the Stage Manager in action on the iPad mini, I believe I’d like the option to run the app in windowed mode, even with some limitations compared to the iPad M1. As I said before, having windows is not only about how many applications you can run at the same time, but also how it is organized.
Stage Manager isn’t perfect, but it certainly improves the iPad’s poor multitasking system – and it’s a shame that Apple wants to keep it for the pricier iPads.
Currently, iPadOS 16 beta is still only available for developers. According to Apple, the first public beta will be released this month, while the official one is expected this fall.
Update: You can download and open the screenshot below on your iPad mini 6 to see the Stage Manager interface for yourself.
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