Apple Tested Stage Manager on iPads Without M1 Chip and Wasn't Satisfied

As more post-WWDC interviews with Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi surface, we continue to learn more about Apple's reasoning behind iPadOS's new Stage Manager feature being limited to iPads with the M1 chip.

ipados 16 stage manager
The latest interview was published by Forbes contributor David Phelan, who asked Federighi if Apple attempted to make Stage Manager work with iPad models without the M1 chip. In response, Federighi said Apple did some early testing of the feature on other iPads, but Apple was not satisfied with the experienced delivered on those devices.

"We began some of our prototyping involving those systems and it became apparent early on that we couldn't deliver the experience that that we were designing toward with them," he said. "Certainly, we would love to bring any new experience to every device we can, but we also don't want to hold back the definition of a new experience and not create the best foundation for the future in that experience. And we really could only do that by building on the M1."

In an interview with TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino shared earlier this week, Federighi said the M1 chip's performance ensures that all apps being used in Stage Manager are "instantaneously responsive," as customers expect from a touch-based interface.

In a statement last week, shared by Rene Ritchie, 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."

The M1 iPad Pro is available with up to 16GB of RAM and a Thunderbolt port, while the previous-generation iPad Pro features 6GB of RAM and a USB-C port. The M1 iPad Pro also features up to 2x faster storage and up to 40% faster GPU performance compared to the previous model. The fifth-generation iPad Air is also equipped with the M1 chip, but the iPad mini, entry-level iPad, and older iPad Pro models are not.

Introduced as part of iPadOS 16, Stage Manager allows users to resize iPad apps into overlapping windows for an improved multitasking experience. The feature 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. A version of Stage Manager is also available on macOS Ventura for keeping windows front and center.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
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Top Rated Comments

antiprotest Avatar
26 months ago
Then TWEAK THE THING until you're satisfied!!!

You roll out a whole bunch of things that stutter, crash, and burst into flames, and now suddenly you care about customer experience?
Score: 84 Votes (Like | Disagree)
c84216 Avatar
26 months ago
Apple needs to stop justifying this and stick to its guns.

People were screaming for a reason to have M1 when iPadOS didn't need that kind of HP. Now that its here, those same people are moaning those reasons make them upgrade.

You don't get to have it both ways.
Score: 74 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mozumder Avatar
26 months ago
People complain too much about engineering issues they have no idea about.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eso Avatar
26 months ago

People complain too much about engineering issues they have no idea about.
Because some of us have been using computers for 30 years. It has been many, many years that we have been running several programs concurrently. We started doing so with computers that had single-core processors that were less than 1GHz, and with less than 500 MB of RAM.

So don’t try and tell us that several mobile apps can’t run concurrently on a device with less than an 8-core M1 with 6 GB of RAM - it’s just not reasonable.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
26 months ago
This guy is a clown. They've had the ability to do this for years now with lesser architecture so what he's really saying is that his team is so incompetent they can't figure out how to do something others did years ago
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hovscorpion12 Avatar
26 months ago
[This is personal opinion] I have full respect for Apple. Perhaps maybe they did it for sales, but for the most part I believe them.

instead of launching it and have customer complaints about performance, they know it performs horrible
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)