Stage Manager on the iPad: Apple software boss defends hardware requirements

Craig Federighi thinks only the M1 iPads can provide the performance for the Stage Manager. Other iPads will therefore not be able to use the window function.

 Stage Manager on the iPad: Apple software boss defends hardware requirements

Apple has once again justified by the fact that a long-awaited window function for the iPad should only run on new and expensive models of the tablet.

The high requirements of Stage Manager

After the group already had an official had made a statement as to why the feature called Stage Manager requires at least an iPad Pro M1 (11 and 12.9 inches) or iPad Air 5 (also with an M1 chip), Apple’s software boss Craig Federighi himself commented on the question in an interview. This shows that the company is well aware of the explosive nature of the decision.

Apple decided to combine the option of using windows on the iPad with a special window management function. Their basics apparently come from macOS and are very old. Stage Manager can be activated in the current beta version of iPadOS 16 by pressing a switch in the control center – but only on the three tablet models mentioned. The group obviously has very high standards for the feature, as Federighi emphasized.

“Immediately responsive” and “a lot of memory”

In an interview with the IT blog TechCrunch, Federighi now said that only the M1 iPads have the necessary system performance for Stage Manager. These combined “the high DRAM capacity with NAND modules of very high capacity and high performance that makes our virtual memory swapping super fast”. In practice, this means that you can switch back and forth between eight apps, which are then “immediately responsive”. be and ‘a lot of memory’ would have available. “We simply don’t have these options on other systems.”

However, Stage Manager is by no means undisputed. The functionality is considered by some critics who have seen the beta to be overloaded and not very logical. They would have been fine if Apple simply allowed the use of regular windows on the iPad. According to Federighi, however, this was not an option for Apple and the graphics performance of the M1 iPads also played a role in allowing external screens with all options. “When you put all of this together, we can’t deliver the full Stage Manager experience on any other system,” said Federighi. “Of course we would like to make them available everywhere. But that’s what you need for it.” And according to Apple’s software boss, Stage Manager will not disappear either: “That’s the experience that we will carry into the future.” You didn’t want to limit your design. “We are setting the benchmark for the future here.” Apple also wants to have tested Stage Manager on non-M1 iPads – but the result there was unsatisfactory.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith noticed that at least the cheapest version of the iPad Air 5 lacks the virtual memory swap function, which Federighi says is a prerequisite for Stage Manager – but it still supports the window function. Apple has not yet provided an explanation for this. According to the manufacturer, virtual memory swap, which allows individual apps to be assigned up to 16 GB of RAM, is only available on the iPad Air 5 from the version with 256 GB of storage space. The entry-level version of the iPad Air 5, which is also supposed to support Stage Manager, only has 64 GB.

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