Here we are again with another article on Stage Manager. One of the main features of iPadOS 16 has upset many iPad users because it requires the M1 chip, leaving users of older iPad models stuck with the original iPadOS multitasking system with no floating windows. But it looks like Apple has its own ways of enabling Stage Manager on older iPads.
After all the controversy over Stage Manager, 9to5Mac decided to investigate by looking at the iPadOS 16 code. What we discovered is that, in fact, Apple has an internal way to enable Stage Manager on older iPads.
The codes refer to an internal setting that enables “Chamois” (the Stage Manager codename) for “Legacy Devices”. In other words, this allows the feature to work with all other non-M1 iPads running iPadOS 16. This matches a statement from Apple’s head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, who said Apple has did some testing with Stage Manager on more iPad models before deciding the feature requires the M1 chip.
We started some of our prototyping involving these systems and it became clear early on that we couldn’t deliver the experience we were designing towards with them. Sure, we’d like to bring a 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 could only really do that by relying on the M1.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Stage Manager works well on older iPads, but the fact that this option was hidden in the first developer beta of iPadOS 16 suggests that the company’s engineers can still run tests with the feature on some other iPad models.
The steward’s controversy
Having exclusive features for new hardware is nothing new. However, when it comes to Stage Manager, users seem skeptical of Apple’s reported limitations.
For example, Craig Federighi said in an interview that virtual memory swapping (something only available on the M1 chip) was crucial to creating Stage Manager since the feature supports up to eight open applications in same time. However, it was later discovered that the 64GB iPad Air 5, which supports Stage Manager, lacks memory swapping.
Apple executives also pointed out that Stage Manager requirements must be very high as the feature has smooth animations and nice shadows, but this also seems controversial since the feature is available for Intel Macs as old as 2017 with macOS. Ventura.
It’s unclear at this point if Apple will reconsider Stage Manager requirements in iPadOS 16. Last year, when macOS Monterey was announced, Live Text was an exclusive feature for M1 Macs. However, after several complaints, Apple made the feature available for Intel Macs as well.
I just wonder if we’ll ever be able to see for ourselves how Stage Manager works on non-M1 iPads to draw our own conclusions through a jailbreak tool.
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