Window finally on the iPad: This is one of the central new functions of the next iPadOS version 16. As has now been shown, however, only a very limited target group will be able to use the new feature with the app window in ( almost) of any size can be distributed on the screen of the Apple tablet. Because: Apple limits the feature solely to machines with the M1 chip, i.e. the latest generation of iPad Pro models and the iPad Air 5. The company has now explained why this is the case for the first time – however, the information is not completely understandable.
Window management only via Stage Manager
The new window control, which was leaked shortly before the WWDC developer conference, relies entirely on Apple’s Stage Manager multitasking technology, which is also part of macOS 13 aka Ventura. To activate them, you have to press an activation button in the control center in the beta version of iPadOS 16, which Apple has been distributing to developers since last week. Finally, a window overview appears on the right side and the new windows themselves appear in the middle. According to Apple, up to eight apps can be used simultaneously, and Stage Manager also allows free loading of an external screen connected via USB-C.
But all this only works on said M1 machines. As mentioned, these are the fifth generation iPad Air, which was released in March, as well as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro M1 (fifth generation from 2021) and the 11-inch iPad Pro M1 (third generation, also from 2021). All other models, such as earlier iPad Pro tablets, normal iPads including the current ninth edition or the current iPad mini 6 are left out. They don’t even show the Stage Manager button in the control center and use the usual multitasking familiar from iPadOS 15. However, Apple did not come up with the idea of making the window size of apps changeable without the Stage Manager – it remains unclear whether this was for technical reasons.
Apple’s wordy rationale
In the meantime, Apple has made a eloquent statement to the English-language media as to why an M1 iPad is necessary for Stage Manager. It is therefore one “fully integrated user experience” that delivers a “completely new window experience”.. This is “incredibly fast and responsive” to run the eight apps mentioned simultaneously on the iPad and an external screen with up to 6K resolution. “To deliver this experience with the immediacy that users are accustomed to from the touch-first experience of the iPad” requires a lot of internal RAM as well as “incredibly fast [Flash-]memory” and “flexible external display I/O”. According to Apple, all of this is only provided “by iPads with the M1 chip”.
The iPad Pro with the M1 chip actually comes with more RAM – it should be 16 GB instead of the 6 GB of the older generation. According to self-promotion, Apple has also designed the flash memory twice as fast. Without Stage Manager, however, iPadOS 16 is a rather modest update. Apple has finally brought the weather app to its tablet, delivering functions from iOS 16 and macOS Ventura such as the shared photo library for families, improvements in iMessage and all sorts of internal improvements in Mail and Siri or the dictation function. The option of scaling the screen resolution is also limited to the M1 models, which can be particularly useful for multitasking.
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