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Owners of older iPad Pro models will get Stage Manager, as the latest iPadOS 16.1 beta introduces support beyond M1-equipped versions.
When Apple introduced Stage Manager during WWDC, it was determined that it would only be available on iPad Pro models using the M1 chip. With the latest iPadOS 16.1 beta, it appears the feature will now work with more models.
The update now enables Stage Manager in the beta for all generations of the 11-inch iPad Pro, as well as all 12.9-inch iPad Pro models from the third-generation and later. Earlier 12.9-inch models and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro that don't have the A12X or A12Z chip won't gain the added support, reports Engadget.
The expansion also won't bring over all elements of Stage Manager. Even when external display support is added to the feature, models made without a M1 chip or newer will be limited to using Stage Manager only on the built-in display, and not on an external monitor.
"Customers with iPad Pro 3rd and 4th generation have expressed strong interest in being able to experience Stage Manager on their iPads," said Apple. "In response, our teams have worked hard to find a way to deliver a single-screen version for these systems, with support for up to four live apps on the iPad screen at once."
The M1 iPad Pro models will also see a change to Stage Manager, which will remove the external monitor support for the moment. It will apparently be reintroduced in a software update before the end of 2022.
Previously, Apple explained that Stage Manager needed the fast memory swap feature in iPadOS, which allowed free flash storage to be turned into up to 16GB of makeshift RAM. This is a resource-intensive feature, which Apple deemed was only possible with the M1 and not earlier A-series chips.
Apple's full statement reads:
We introduced Stage Manager as a whole new way to multitask with overlapping, resizable windows on both the iPad display and a separate external display, with the ability to run up to eight live apps on screen at once. Delivering this multi-display support is only possible with the full power of M1-based iPads. Customers with iPad Pro 3rd and 4th generation have expressed strong interest in being able to experience Stage Manager on their iPads. In response, our teams have worked hard to find a way to deliver a single-screen version for these systems, with support for up to four live apps on the iPad screen at once. External display support for Stage Manager on M1 iPads will be available in a software update later this year.