Today’s beta of iPadOS 16.1 brings the new Stage Manager feature to older iPads, expanding it to work with iPad Pro models powered by an A12X or A12Z chip, says a report from Engadget.
The beta also removes the external display support from Stage Manager for the near future, with the feature set to return in a later iPadOS 16 update.
Apple’s statement on the update:
We introduced Stage Manager as a whole new way to multitask with overlapping, resizable windows on both the iPad display and a separate external display, with the ability to run up to eight live apps on screen at once. Delivering this multi-display support is only possible with the full power of M1-based iPads. Customers with iPad Pro 3rd and 4th generation have expressed strong interest in being able to experience Stage Manager on their iPads. In response, our teams have worked hard to find a way to deliver a single-screen version for these systems, with support for up to four live apps on the iPad screen at once.
External display support for Stage Manager on M1 iPads will be available in a software update later this year.
Stage Manager has been limited to the M1 iPad Pro models that were released in 2021, as well as the M1 iPad Air. Every other iPad was unable to use the feature. Apple originally said that it was unable to offer acceptable performance on non-M1 iPads, as the feature requires “large internal memory, incredibly fast storage, and flexible external display I/O” provided by the M1 iPad models.
Apple has been criticized for limiting Stage Manager to the latest iPad, leading them to expand the feature to older iPad Pro models.
Apple also says that the new developer beta of iPadOS 16.1 is removing external display support for Stage Manager on M1 iPads. It’ll likely be restored in a software update coming later this year.