Apple's Craig Federighi Further Explains Why Stage Manager is Only for M1 iPads

Following the WWDC keynote last week, Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi spoke with TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino about the new Stage Manager feature for iPad and Mac. Notably, he elaborated on Stage Manager being limited to M1 iPads.

ipados 16 stage manager
On the iPad, Stage Manager allows users to resize apps into overlapping windows for an improved multitasking experience. Stage Manager also fully supports an external display with up to 6K resolution, allowing users to work with up to four apps on the iPad and up to four apps on the external display simultaneously.

In a statement shared with Rene Ritchie last week, Apple asserted that Stage Manager "requires large internal memory, incredibly fast storage, and flexible external display I/O, all of which are delivered by iPads with the M1 chip." Federighi elaborated on that rationale in his chat with Panzarino, telling him that the power of the M1 chip ensures that all apps being used in Stage Manager are "instantaneously responsive."

"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," said Federighi. "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," such as the previous-generation iPad Pro.

Released in April 2021, the iPad Pro with an M1 chip is available with up to 16GB of RAM, compared to 6GB in the previous iPad Pro. Apple also advertises the M1 iPad Pro as having 2x faster storage and up to 40% faster GPU performance compared to the previous model. Apple also released an iPad Air with the same M1 chip in March 2022.

"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."

"When you put all this together, we can't deliver the full Stage Manager experience on any lesser system," added Federighi. "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."

As for Stage Manager on the Mac, Federighi said there are already "so many different ways" to multitask on macOS, such as using Mission Control or the Command-Tab keyboard shortcut to switch between apps, and Stage Manager is simply another tool in the toolbox.

"On the Mac, there are so many different ways to work. Some people use spaces, some people are in and out of Mission Control. Some people are command tab people, some people like to create a mess, some people clean up their messes and some people use minimization. I mean, there's no wrong answer here, there are a lot of valid ways to work on the Mac."

"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.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
ios 18 tile summary

Apple Announces iOS 18 With New Customization Features, Redesigned Photos App, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 10:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 18, the next major update to the operating system for the iPhone, with new customization features, a redesigned Photos app, and more. iOS 18 features new customization tools for the Home Screen. App icons now feature Dark Mode and users can tint them with a color to create a unique look. Apps can also now be placed anywhere on the Home Screen freely. The Control...
WWDC24 Live Coverage Article

WWDC 2024 Apple Event Live Keynote Coverage: iOS 18, Apple's AI Push, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 9:20 am PDT by
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) starts today with the traditional keynote kicking things off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors is on hand for the event and we'll be sharing details and our thoughts throughout the day. We're expecting to see a number of software-related announcements with a focus on Apple's efforts to infuse AI throughout its operating systems and apps....
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
Next Gen CarPlay WWDC24 1

Apple Provides Updated Look at Next-Generation CarPlay at WWDC 2024

Monday June 10, 2024 7:11 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a few WWDC 2024 coding sessions related to its upcoming next-generation CarPlay system ahead of its launch later this year. The sessions include lots of updated next-generation CarPlay images, with one revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps in action for the first time. MacRumors previously discovered evidence of these apps in the iOS 17.4 beta. Next-generation...
iPad Air 5

New: iPadOS 18 Drops Support for These iPad Models

Monday June 10, 2024 4:16 am PDT by
iPadOS 18 will drop support for iPad models equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS and iPadOS updates. In other words, iPadOS 18 will drop support for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Support for the sixth-generation iPad, which uses the...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...

Top Rated Comments

Joe Dohn Avatar
26 months ago
I made a few tests, and unfortunately my wallet is incompatible with any current products.
It's true, I tested it!
Score: 84 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
26 months ago
"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."

So decorative window dressings like shadows and ephemeral animations were deemed so essential to the functionality of Stage Manager that it was worth excluding several years of recent powerful products from its use? Those and external display support couldn't have been designed as runtime-optional depending on the processing speed and memory capacity of each running unit?

We all love you Craig but this is just ridiculous.
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gotluck Avatar
26 months ago
I hate to say it but Samsung does it with Dex and significantly weaker chips!
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menneisyys2 Avatar
26 months ago
back in iOS5 times, on WAY less capable hardware, the Jailbreak-based Quasar ran multiple programs just fine in multiwindow mode - I used it a lot on my iPad 2 (512MB RAM) and 3 (1GB RAM). That is, "multitasking / multiwindow requires a lot of hardware resources not available in older models" is simply not true. It's plain greed on Apple's part, nothing else.

EDIT (simple addition (NOT an edit of the above text in any form) a day later, answering to another question): at https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apples-craig-federighi-further-explains-why-stage-manager-is-only-for-m1-ipads.2348050/page-21?post=31186061#post-31186061 , I elaborated more on how Quasar worked on the iPad 3 running on iOS5.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
26 months ago
Want to use Stage Manager? Purchase an M1-based iPad. And find happiness.

Can't afford or don't want to purchase an M1-based iPad? Have an oversized embarrassing public whine and spout nefarious Apple conspiracy theories. And find happiness.

A win either way. I suspect most will go for the second option.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
26 months ago
Why is this being dragged on? It sounds fishy.

"The power of the M1 chip ensures that all apps being used in Stage Manager are "instantaneously responsive."

How about instead of running multiple apps. Can you let us run a few apps using "Stage Manager" on my iPad Pro which does not have the M1 Chip? Instead of four apps… let me run two apps, please. I know it’s doable and the iPad without the M1 Chip can handle it.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)