Video: Testing Stage Manager on iPadOS 16 with an external display

Of iPad OS 16, Apple introduced Stage Manager, a feature designed to enhance multitasking through a more Mac-like multi-window experience. Apple has also added full support for external displays, so for our latest YouTube video we thought we’d test both features to showcase MacRumors readers what the iPad experience is like in ‌iPadOS 16‌.

Both Stage Manager and external display support are limited to the iPad Pro and iPad Air models equipped with M1 chips, which includes only the most recent devices from Apple. Apple’s decision to limit Stage Manager to ‌M1‌ iPads has been very controversial because a lot of people have older iPads and aren’t able to use some of the best multitasking updates we’ve seen in years, but Apple has maintained that it was not possible to provide an acceptable multitasking experience on iPads that lack the power of the ‌M1‌ chip.

If you’re lucky enough to own an ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ or ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Air‌, Stage Manager is a handy multitasking update. You can activate it from the Control Center and once on, you’ll see a tiled view of your open apps on the left side of the app with the main app available centrally.

You can resize the windows and move them freely on the ‌iPad‌, which is a new experience. Previously, Split View and Slide Over were the only multitasking options available and limited to two apps or app windows at a time.

Stage Manager works with the aforementioned support for external displays, which is where the feature comes into its own as it allows for a much more Mac-like experience. With only an iPad‌, Stage Manager can handle four apps at once, but with an external display you can use up to eight.

With ‌iPadOS 16‌, an ‌iPad‌ can take full advantage of the external display instead of mirroring the iPad‌, and it’s like using a display with a Mac. You can move windows from the iPad‌ to the screen and adjust the layout between the two as you would in macOS.

Stage Manager isn’t perfect as we’re still in the early beta testing process, so some apps won’t work properly on the external display, but there’s plenty of time for Apple to make refinements and updates. Stage Manager will likely provide a much more enjoyable work experience for those who like to use an iPad‌ rather than a desktop computer, but it’s a shame it’s limited to the latest iPads.

Have you tried Stage Manager? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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