Apple tried Stage Manager on non-M1 iPads, it just wasn’t the right experience
It has been a week since Apple’s WWDC event and while the dust is slowly settling, we are still getting some interesting nuggets of information about the event. In a new interview, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi explains how they tried Stage Manager on non-M1 iPads and why it won’t be coming to all iPads.
Apparently, during its initial testing, Apple tried Stage Manager on non-M1-powered iPads. Federighi was asked whether Apple tried to make it work, and he replied:
“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. 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.”
Furthermore, Federighi goes into detail about the process of creating a seamless experience, which is critical when interacting with a device that uses touch. He explains that with Stage Manager, there is a need to have “fluidity and responsiveness”. Apple discovered a sweet spot that balanced features, functionality, and the user experience. Because of this, the team decided to limit the number of live apps in Stage Manager to just four.
Additionally, Federighi had a desire to keep things clean. By having a limitation of four windows, it would keep things simple, which made for the best experience. He explains that many have had the problem of having too many windows open at one time, and because of this, it was important to make sure that wasn’t possible on iPadOS 16.
Although iPadOS 16 can run on a number of iPad devices, as mentioned before, Stage Manager will only be arriving on a select few, like the iPad Pro (2021) and the iPad Air (2022). The OS update will arrive sometime later this year, but if curious, you can always install the developer preview or wait for the public beta release arriving next month.