Mac Format

Stage Manager and Multitaski­ng changes

One of iPadOS 16’s biggest changes is a little controvers­ial


Stage Manager, the new multi-tasking interface in iPadOS 16, has had a bit of a bumpy ride; it’s been widely criticised by many prominent developers for its many bugs in the iPadOS betas, and it’s been suggested that those bugs are at least part of the reason for the delay in getting iPadOS 16 released. As things stand at the moment Stage Manager is now officially a beta feature, and one of its previously announced benefits – external monitor support – has been temporaril­y removed. Device compatibil­ity has been changed too; what was originally reserved only for M1 and M2-powered iPads now works on iPad Pros with A12X and A12Z chips.

Stage Manager isn’t on by default; you have to switch it on in the Control Centre. Once you do, your iPad moves into a mode that looks more like the Mac desktop with thumbnails – Apple calls them App Stacks, and they work in a similar way to the tab groups in Safari but for apps instead of open tabs – at the left and the current app in a moveable, resizable window. You can have up to four apps overlappin­g at once and another four on an external display, and it’s a bit like using macOS on a much smaller screen. We think there will be more significan­t changes before Stage Manager loses its beta label; it’s one of the most controvers­ial interface changes Apple has made in years.

Don’t worry if you don’t want to use Stage Manager; the familiar Split View and Slide Over options still work perfectly well, and at the moment those are the ones we’re sticking with; as of the final public beta of iPadOS 16 we found Stage Manager was still very buggy and needed a lot more work; its tendency to crash means we’re not planning to use it for serious work just yet.

 ?? ?? Stage Manager delivers something much closer to the Mac’s multitaski­ng and window system.
Stage Manager delivers something much closer to the Mac’s multitaski­ng and window system.

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