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.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Related Forum: iOS 16

Top Rated Comments

eicca Avatar
19 weeks ago
Stage Manager is 2006 technology. It'll run on anything if they allow it. But, gotta sell new iPads.

Second opinion: If an ancient Intel processor can multitask better than every iPad currently on the market, that pretty much guarantees that Stage Manager "limitations" are just product-pushing tactics.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/apple-mac-os-ventura-stage-manager-is-16-years-old/
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrPresident Avatar
19 weeks ago
I thought this was going to be an article on how Stage Manager performed on a 2018 iPad…
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
falkon-engine Avatar
19 weeks ago
Don’t let apple distract you from the fact that a core 2 duo from 2008-9 ran the macOS window server and window manager… and could manipulate much more than 4 apps at a time. Let’s not forget that an even slower pentium processor from 1995 could run windows 95 with the ability to manipulate many windows.

Don’t buy in to the reality distortion field that stage manager requires an m1 or even an a12.

That being said, I have an m1 iPad Pro so I was always going to get stage manager. But I’m happy that folks with the 2020 and 2018 iPad pros can get stage manager too (even if limited to a single display).
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nimoy Avatar
19 weeks ago
Good news for those of us rocking the 2018 iPad Pro, one of the most enduring products Apple has ever released!

Bad news for the cynics who think Apple artificially limits software features just to drive sales.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eicca Avatar
19 weeks ago

They advertise 10 hours of battery life so they have to hit that target. My 2008 MBP battery rarely lasted longer than a couple hours by comparison, lol. And this thing is several times thinner. Even my 2019 16" MBP battery only lasts about half as long.

These things are fast, but they have to optimize the hell out of the background processes with these thin batteries compared to a MacBook Air/Pro.

So they've brought this tech to 2018 and 2020 models, specifically after saying they weren't, and yet you're still complaining that they're trying to sell new iPads? Unbelievable.
They’re only bringing it to older models because they got caught trying to limit a 2006 idea to their most powerful SOC claiming “hardware limitation.” It’s blatantly obvious if you’re not an apologist fanboy.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
19 weeks ago

Stage Manager is 2006 technology. It'll run on anything if they allow it. But, gotta sell new iPads.

Second opinion: If an ancient Intel processor can multitask better than every iPad currently on the market, that pretty much guarantees that Stage Manager "limitations" are just product-pushing tactics.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/apple-mac-os-ventura-stage-manager-is-16-years-old/
They advertise 10 hours of battery life so they have to hit that target. My 2008 MBP battery rarely lasted longer than a couple hours by comparison, lol. And this thing is several times thinner. Even my 2019 16" MBP battery only lasts about half as long.

These things are fast, but they have to optimize the hell out of the background processes with these thin batteries compared to a MacBook Air/Pro.

So they've brought this tech to 2018 and 2020 models, specifically after saying they weren't, and yet you're still complaining that they're trying to sell new iPads? Unbelievable.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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