Apple’s software engineering chief Craig Federighi says the company did some early testing of the new iPadOS 16 Stage Manager feature on non-M1 iPads but was not satisfied with the experience offered on those iPads.
Federighi’s remarks came in a recent interview with Forbes contributor David Phelan, who had asked Federighi if Apple attempted to make Stage Manager work with iPad models without the M1 chip.
“We began some of our prototyping involving those systems and it became apparent early on that we couldn’t deliver the experience that we were designing toward with them,” said Federighi. “Certainly, we would love to bring any new experience to every device we can, but we also don’t want to hold back the definition of a new experience and not create the best foundation for the future in that experience. And we really could only do that by building on the M1.”
Federighi said in a previous interview that the M1 chip’s performance ensures that all apps being used in Stage Manager are “instantaneously responsive,” as customers expect from a touch-based interface.
Apple told journalist Rene Ritchie last week that Stage Manager “requires large internal memory, incredibly fast storage, and flexible external display I/O, all of which are delivered by iPads with the M1 chip.”
The M1 iPad Pro boasts up to 16GB of RAM and uses a Thunderbolt port, while the previous-generation iPad Pro features 6GB of RAM and a USB-C port. The M1 iPad Pro also boasts up to 2x faster storage and up to 40% faster GPU performance compared to the previous model.
Stage Manager is an entirely new multitasking experience that automatically organizes apps and windows, making it quick and easy to switch between tasks. For the first time on iPad, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes in a single view, drag and drop windows from the side, or open apps from the Dock to create groups of apps for faster, more flexible multitasking.
Stage Manager also unlocks full external display support with resolutions of up to 6K on iPad Pro and iPad Air with the M1 chip. Users can arrange the ideal workspace, and work with up to four apps on iPad and four apps on the external display.