Apple has been criticized for “fundamentally wrong” approach to Stage Manager in iPadOS 16

The Stage Manager beta version of iPadOS 16 receives harsh criticism for being “fundamentally flawed” in its approach to bringing a new level of multitasking to the iPad, and some are even urging Apple to delay the feature altogether due to its shortcomings.


Federico Viticci, founder and editor-in-chief of MacStories and a prominent member of the Apple community, outlined his frustration with Stage Manager in a Twitter thread earlier this week. Viticci says the design decisions built into Stage Manager are “fundamentally wrong”, arguing that the feature is unstable, difficult to use, and has UI glitches throughout the experience.

“If Stage Manager is the future of iPadOS for professional users, I hope Apple understands that it cannot be rushed. We’ve waited for this for years; we might as well get it in the spring of 2023, ”says Viticci, suggesting Apple will delay the Stage Manager release. completely and rethink your approach.

Stage Manager allows users to overlay windows and use an external display with an iPad for the first time. However, Apple’s implementation of this feature is not as clear cut as some might have hoped.

IPad enthusiasts wanted the company to better harness the power and multitasking potential of iPad, and Stage Manager is Apple’s answer to these calls. The narrative about the iPad and its inability to fully utilize the “iPad” hardware took a huge leap when Apple introduced Apple’s M1 silicon chip to the iPad Pro in April 2021 and then to the iPad Air last fall.

Stage Manager is designed to work only with iPads with an “M1” chip, which is another point of contention around this increasingly controversial feature. Apple says that only the unified memory architecture of the “M1” chip, originally designed for Mac computers, can handle the heavy workload that Stage Manager requires.

Craig wwdc stage manager


Announcing Stage Manager at WWDC in June, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, said: “With technologies such as display scaling and virtual memory replacement, we have the foundation for a big step forward in user experience that could change the way our Pro users are doing work on ‌iPad‌. ”

Stage Manager is one of just a few new features of “iPadOS 16”, but it is also present in macOS Ventura. While they share a common name and the same basic idea, the Stage Manager implementation in “iPadOS 16” and “macOS Ventura” couldn’t be more different.

For example, as Viticci noted in an early iPadOS 16 review, Apple is trying to alleviate the heavy lifting often faced by Mac users of having to perfectly position overlapping Mac windows to create the perfect workspace. With Stage Manager in ‌iPadOS 16‌, the system automatically transfers applications to have the main application used in the center of the “stage”, while other applications open “gracefully sliding to the side”. As Viticci wrote then:

The idea behind Stage Manager is that you will get a system that will help you preserve the benefits of overlapping windows while offering tools that should alleviate some of the window management problems for people like me who have historically disliked overlapping windows on a Mac.

Stage Manager also takes care of automatically focusing on the “middle application” and you can hide or show the dock and recent applications on the left side. If you keep the dock, you’ll have a quick way to drag new windows to your workspace.

mustache shared on Twitter two feedback reports he sent to Apple about the Stage Manager, which is still being tested. First, it suggests an easy way to move windows from iPad to external display as this is currently not possible. The second feedback report shows how the system “destroys” workspaces for applications when connected to an external display.

In the case of the latter report, Apple responded by saying it “behaves as intended”, which Viticci calls “puzzling.” Regarding the second suggestion to make it easier to move windows and spaces to an external display, Apple said that after “careful consideration” of the idea would not continue with its implementation.

Deviating from previous years’ precedent, Apple plans to release “iPadOS 16” later in the fall, rather than with iOS 16, expected in September. The delay in the launch of “iPadOS 16” should give Apple ample time to fix Stage Manager issues before it goes live to customers in October.

Apple is unlikely to pull Stage Manager out of “iPadOS 16” after its release, although it may always choose to label it as a beta feature until it works, as it did with Universal Control in macOS Monterey.

Leave a Reply