Apple Senior Vice President of Software, Craig Federighi sat down with Matthew Panzarino from TechCrunch to discuss the new Stage Manager feature on iPadOS 16 exclusively available on M1 iPad models.
The upcoming multitasking tool “Stage Manager” will enable M1 iPad users to run up to 8 apps simultaneously when connected to an external display with up to 6K resolution; up to four apps on the iPad and up to four apps on the external display. Furthermore, users will also be able to resize apps into overlapping windows.
Powered by M1 chip, apps on Stage Manager perform at super-high frame rates across devices
After the announcement of the new feature at the WWDC 2022 event, Apple released a statement to YouTube Rene Ritchie which explained that the Stage Manager capability was limited to M1 iPad because it requires “larger internal memory, incredibly fast storage, and flexible external display I/O” offered by Apple Silicon.
Federighi further elaborated that the Stage Manager was designed to take full advantage of the M1 chip to deliver high-quality apps in look and performance.
“We really designed Stage Manager to take full advantage [of the M1 chip],” said Federighi. “If you look at the way the apps tilt and shadow and how they animate in and out. To do that at super-high frame rates, across very large displays and multiple displays, requires the peak of graphics performance that no one else can deliver.”
The M1 technology was expanded to the iPad Pro lineup in 2021 to offer up to 16GB of RAM, 2x faster storage, and up to 40% faster GPU performance than the previous iPad Pro models. And at the March 2022 event, the company launched M1 iPad Air.
Federighi said that the SoC M1 chip enabled the company to develop high-performance tools for the latest iPad models which are not compatible with predecessor processors.
“It’s only the M1 iPads that combined the high DRAM capacity with very high capacity, high-performance NAND that allows our virtual memory swap to be super fast. Now that we’re letting you have up to four apps on a panel plus another four – up to eight apps to be instantaneously responsive and have plenty of memory, we just don’t have that ability on the other systems (*like previous iPad Pro and iPad Air models).
“When you put all this together, we can’t deliver the full Stage Manager experience on any lesser system. I mean, we would love to make it available everywhere we can. But this is what it requires. This is the experience we’re going to carry into the future. We didn’t want to constrain our design to something lesser, we’re setting the benchmark for the future.”
Commenting on the multitasking experience on iPad and Mac, he said that Mac users already have several tools to multitask on their computers like Mission Control or Command-Tab keyboard and the new iPadOS 16 Stage Manager is another app in the toolbox. So, “if 20% of the users on the Mac end up saying that this is another great tool in the quiver for them… that’s fantastic,” he said.