Testing Stage Manager on a 2018 iPad Pro With the New iPadOS 16.1 Beta
With the latest beta of iPadOS 16.1 that was provided to developers today, the Stage Manager feature has expanded to the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models. We thought we'd test it out on an older iPad Pro to see how it works, because Apple spent several months telling us that it didn't offer a satisfactory experience on non M1 iPads.
Stage Manager is the biggest feature of iPadOS 16, and prior to today, it was limited to the M1 iPad Pro and the M1 iPad Air, Apple's newest iPads from 2021. Older iPad Pro models from 2018 and 2020 were not able to use Stage Manager, leading to complaints from iPad owners.
Apple initially said that Stage Manager was only able to offer the ideal experience on the M1 iPads, but in a statement today, the company said that it was able to figure out a way to bring Stage Manager to iPad Pro models using the A12Z and A12X chips. These iPads can use Stage Manager on device, but will not have access to the external display integration with multi-display support.
In fact, Apple has removed external display support from the iPadOS 16.1 beta entirely, and when it is returned later this year, it will continue to be limited to M1 iPad models. So the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models can use Stage Manager, but not in its full implementation with an external display.
Stage Manager on device is limited to four apps in use at one time, while with an external display, up to eight apps can be open. In our side-by-side testing, Stage Manager worked well on the 2018 iPad Pro, though it was not as quick as the M1 iPad Pro.
The launch of iPadOS 16 was delayed to give Apple time to work on Stage Manager, because it was buggy and there were complaints about its functionality. Apple has been improving it beta by beta, and it is a much smoother experience than it was a few weeks ago.
Have you tried Stage Manager on a 2018 or 2020 iPad Pro? Let us know what you think in the comments.