Here’s Why iPadOS 16 Stage Manager Feature Will Be M1 iPad Exclusive

iPadOS 16 Stage Manager
Image: Apple

One particularly prominent feature in iPadOS 16 was the presence of a windows management system that Apple calls the Stage Manager.

The feature allows you to reorder and resize tabs and group multiple apps simultaneously. It’ll come to the iPad later this year, and it will provide the user the option to group and play around with several windows together.

iPadOS 16 compatibility

The iPadOS 16 will be compatible with iPads starting from A9-powered fifth-gen devices. However, not all iPads are made equal, so not all the features will roll out to all the devices.

Just like Apple cut down Intel Mac features with macOS Monterey, it has cut off the A-series chip-powered iPads from some capabilities. Stage Manager is one feature that’ll only come to the M1-powered iPads.

Why does Apple restrict Stage Manager to M1 iPads?

As per Apple, the Stage manager feature is exclusively available to M1 chips since iPadOS 16 offers the quick memory swap feature, which the stage manager relies upon.

There’s technical reasoning behind the idea. The concept is similar to what we witness on Android devices; it lets applications convert the storage into RAM to get some extra juice.

The M1 chip lets the Stage Manager run more than eight apps simultaneously, even if some of them ask for more than 16 GB of RAM.

In other words, the new windows management feature demands plenty of resources; thus, it requires the M1 chip for efficient performance.

It raises the question of whether iPhone 13 Pro and 13 pros Max can only run the ProRes 4k video on 256GB and higher variants. Could the stage manager feature on iPads be only available to higher memory models?

Theoretically, it may be true. However, practically the results are a little different. The M1 chip operates efficiently and better than A-series processors. Thus, the storage conversion to RAM is frictionless through the M1 chip when demanded by an app.

Which iPads will get the Stage Manager feature under the iPadOS 16 update?

The iPadOS 16 is compatible with the devices powered by an A9 processor (dating back to 2015) and higher. By comparison, the stage manager is limited to the M1- powered iPads only launched in 2021 and 2022. Some variants that will support the stage manager include:

  • iPad Pro “12.9-inch”: Fifth generation
  • iPad Pro “11-inch”: Third generation
  • iPad “Air”: Fifth generation

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