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Apple: Why Stage Manager is Only for M1 iPads

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Apple’s new Stage Manager feature won’t be available on iPads without M1 processors–because the mobile-class A-series chips just aren’t up to the task. That’s according to the latest statement from the iPhone maker on Friday.

Stage Manager is a new macOS Ventura feature that Apple announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this week. It is a new multitasking option that allows users to group open apps together and easily switch between different groups from a preview on the left-hand side.

With Stage Manager, users have what they’re working on front and center, and all of the other windows are neatly tucked away but still visible and easily accessible. While it is primarily a macOS feature, Stage Manager is also coming to iPads powered by Apple’s M1 chips in iPadOS 16.

Apple explained to Canadian tech reviewer Rene Ritchie in a statement:

Stage Manager is a fully integrated experience that provides all-new windowing experience that is incredibly fast and responsive and allow users to run 8 apps simultaneously across iPad and an external display with up to 6K resolution. Delivering this experience with the immediacy users expect from iPad’s touch-first experience requires large internal memory, incredibly fast storage, and flexible external display I/O, all of which are delivered by iPads with the M1 chip.

Before Apple started transitioning its iPad lineup to M1, they came equipped with the same A-series Apple silicon as the company’s iPhones. Apple’s M1 System-on-a-Chip unlocks new performance frontiers for the iPad, much like it did for the Mac product line.

However, two iPads currently sold new by Apple — the 9th-generation iPad and the 6th-generation iPad mini — are still powered by A-series chips. These iPads will unfortunately miss out on Stage Manager and any other M1-exclusive features Apple decides to release for the iPad in the future.

What’s worse, iPad Pro users with A12Z chips miss out on Stage Manager, after spending big on their tablets since 2020, and also the A12X which is nearly the same. Apple clearly has plans for M1 and newer iPads to start becoming more desktop-like over time, and older chips are now left for the wayside.

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