Earlier today at WWDC 2022, Apple officially unveiled iPadOS 16, which is due out later this year. It has a lot of cool new features, including Stage Manager Multitasking and full external display support. It will undoubtedly be the best version of the operating system yet.
The thing is, those aforementioned two new features are not coming to all iPad models. In fact, they are limited to the newest M1-powered tablets, such as the 2021 iPad Pro (5th gen) and the iPad Air 5. This means if you dropped $1,000 or more on a previous generation iPad Pro without the M1 chip, you are already losing out on new Pro features. In other words, Apple is taking a huge steaming dump on these iPad Pro owners.
OK, so full external display support is obvious in what it is, right? You can connect a monitor to your M1 iPad and use the full screen real estate. It can even handle resolutions up to 6K! But what exactly is this “Stage Manager” thing? Apple explains below.
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. The window of the app users are working on is displayed prominently in the center, and other open apps and windows are arranged on the left-hand side in order of recency.
While some will downplay the significance of these two new features, the truth is, they are incredibly important. Stage Manager and full external monitor support transform the iPad experience, taking it to another level. Hell, when Apple released its press release on iPadOS 16 (found here) it opened with the following.
Apple today previewed iPadOS 16, a major update that makes the iPad experience even more versatile. Taking advantage of the power of the M1 chip, Stage Manager brings a new way to multitask with multiple overlapping windows and full external display support.
Yes, these two new features are so big, that Apple is leading off its official announcement with them! Sigh.
Should all non-M1 iPad owners be mad about this? No. If you have a “regular” iPad or older iPad Air, you shouldn’t expect Pro features. However, if you have a 3rd or 4th gen iPad Pro with USB-C, released in 2018 and 2020 respectively, you should be downright livid. Even though your iPad will remain supported for several years, it is way to soon to be missing out on new features. It just is not fair.
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