Although there are many new features in iPadOS 16, Stage Manager is perhaps the most important and interesting, as it offers a new multitasking system, allowing for a more productive and layered experience. The feature is very powerful and will also include support for an external display, as long as your iPad has an Apple M1 chip. Now, with the latest iPadOS 16 developer beta, Stage Manager is being expanded to work with other iPad models like the older 11-inch iPad Pro and also the 12.9-inch iPad Pro as long as it’s 3rd generation or later.
While this is exciting news, there is one caveat, and that is that older iPad Pro models will not offer support for Stage Manager on an external display. Furthermore, Apple states that for those with the third and fourth generation iPad Pro, the feature will work at a reduced capacity, allowing only support for up to four apps on a single screen instead of the eight that can run on M1 iPad models. As for why this feature is being rolled out now when it was initially said that it couldn’t deliver the right experience for older iPads, Apple had the following:
“This multi-screen support can only be offered with the full power of the M1-powered iPad. Customers using iPad Pro 3rd and 4th generation have expressed a keen interest in being able to experience Stage Manager on their iPad. In response, our teams have worked hard to find a way to offer a single screen version for these systems, while supporting up to four apps directly on the iPad screen simultaneously.“
Back in June during WWDC22, Apple announced iPadOS 16, along with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura. iPadOS 16 was originally scheduled to be released alongside iOS 16 but was later delayed. The Cupertino giant stated that the reason for the delay was that it had been a “especially big year for iPadOS” and that it had the ability to deliver the software “on its own schedule”. While he didn’t come out and mention it, early reports indicated that the delay was partly caused by the complex Stage Manager feature. Although support for external rendering on M1 iPads for Stage Manager has been around since the first developer beta, Apple removed the feature in the last beta update. It plans to restore it with a software update later this year. The public release of iPadOS 16 is scheduled to arrive sometime in October.