15 June 2022
Stage Center is a new feature that Apple announced for macOS and iPadOS users. It is meant to improve the productivity and efficiency of users when they are working on multiple windows. This is a first-of-its-kind feature for iPads where it is possible to play around with multiple windows at the same time. The experience is similar to working on a desktop or laptop.
With Stage Manager on iPadOS 16, users will be able to resize and reorder tabs as well as group applications. You can easily focus on that one app you are working without the need for a fullscreen view. There is no doubt that it is a very useful feature but Apple says it will be limited to iPad models powered by the M1 chip. This made people wonder about the reason and now, we finally have an official explanation.
Apple says Stage Manager relies heavily on the fast memory swap feature of the new iPadOS. It is a feature that allows the iPad to utilize some portion of the onboard storage as virtual RAM up to 16GB. This is the same functionality that we have seen on many Android smartphones in recent times. Since only the M1 chip can provide sufficient power for utilizing the feature, it has become a requirement for the Stage Manager to work.
"Stage Manager is limited to M1 chips mainly due to iPadOS 16’s new fast memory swap feature, which Stage Manager uses extensively. This lets apps convert storage into RAM (effectively), and each app can ask for up to 16GB of memory. Since Stage Manager enables you to have up to eight apps going at once – and because each app could ask for 16GB of memory – it demands a lot of resources. As such, the new window management feature needs M1 for smooth performance."
It means Stage Manager will be available only on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th Gen), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd Gen), and iPad Air (5th Gen). All other iPad users will miss out on the biggest feature change coming with iPadOS 16.