How to Use Stage Manager on iPad in iPadOS 16

How to Use Stage Manager on iPad in iPadOS 16

With the release of iPadOS 16 comes the introduction of Stage Manager, one of the biggest new features of Apple’s latest tablet-focused OS update – but it’s not something all iPad owners will be able to use.

For those lucky enough to have a supported iPad, Stage Manager looks to completely reinvent the iPad multitasking system, bringing it closer to a traditional desktop experience with resizable windows and multiple apps running side-by-side.

Here’s how to use Stage Manager on iPad in iPadOS 16.1 and later.

Which iPads support Stage Manager?

When Apple first announced the Stage Manager tech at WWDC 2022, it claimed that it’d only work with M1 models of iPad Pro. However, the company expanded support during the beta testing process to include some older models of iPad Pro and, of course, the M1-enabled iPad Air too.

With that being said, here’s a list of all the models of iPad that can take advantage of Stage Manager, including the recently announced iPad Pro 2022 range:

How to activate Stage Manager on iPad

While you might assume Stage Manager would be activated as soon as you upgrade a supported iPad to iPadOS 16.1, that’s not actually the case. Instead, the functionality is disabled by default, though it’s easily enabled via both the Settings app and the Control Center.

Via the Settings app

Open the Settings app on your iPad.Tap Home Screen & Multitasking.Tap Stage Manager (the option at the bottom of the list).Toggle on Use Stage Manager on iPad.

Lewis Painter / Foundry

If this is the first time you’ve enabled the Stage Manager functionality, you’ll see a pop-up window briefly explaining how it all works.

From this section of the Settings menu, you can also hide the Recent Apps (that appear on the left of the display) and the iPad Dock (which appears at the bottom) to provide extra screen space for your various app windows.

To do so, simply uncheck either Recent Apps or Dock from the Stage Manager layout section.

Via the Control Center

If you can’t be bothered with navigating through the Settings app, you’ve also got the option of activating Stage Manager on a supported iPad via the Control Center.

Swipe down from the top-right of your iPad to access the Control Center.Tap the Stage Manager icon (a square with three smaller squares to the left) to activate.

Lewis Painter / Foundry

As with the Settings app, you can also hide the Dock or Recent Apps from the Control Center – just long-press the Stage Manager icon to access the options.

Resize apps and move windows in Stage Manager

One of the big features of Stage Manager is the ability to resize and move your app windows on the fly, allowing you to create your perfect multi-app workspace.

To resize apps:

Press and hold the indicator shown at the bottom right of the app.Move your finger/cursor to resize the window.

Lewis Painter / Foundry

The layout of the app should shift depending on the size and orientation you go for, so experiment with the various layouts available for your favourite apps.

Moving windows is even easier; simply tap and hold the top of the app window and drag the app around on your screen.

Open multiple apps in Stage Manager

Of course, the big draw of Stage Manager is the ability to use apps side-by-side, and it’s easy to do so.

Open the first app you want to use.Drag the second app you’d like to use from either the Dock or the Recent Apps section. You can do this a third time, but depending on the size of the iPad display you’re using, things might start to get a little cramped.

Lewis Painter / Foundry

It’s worth noting that this method can also be used to run multiple windows of the same app, useful if you want to see multiple websites at once, for example.

When multiple apps are open together, they’re automatically grouped. This means that tapping on the group from the Recent Apps or the multitasking window will open all your selected apps in the layout you originally used – ideal if you find you often use the same group of apps for a specific task, like writing content or editing photos.

How to deactivate Stage Manager on iPad

If you decide you’ve had enough of Stage Manager and just want to use Apple’s standard – and perfectly capable – split-screen multitasking, the quickest way to disable Stage Manager is via the Control Center.

Swipe down from the top-right of your iPad display to access the Control Center.Tap the Stage Manager icon (a square with three smaller squares to the left) so it’s no longer highlighted/enabled.

Lewis Painter / Foundry

The Stage Manager tech should then be disabled, though it can be just as easily re-enabled at any point in the future via the same icon.

What about external display support?

Aside from being able to run apps in windows like macOS, the other big feature of Stage Manager is the ability to connect an iPad to an external display and use it independently of the iPad, much like a laptop or a desktop. It’s a huge change as, until now, connecting an external display will only mirror what’s on the iPad.

Sadly, this functionality is limited to recent models of iPad Pro and iPad Air that feature Apple’s M1 or M2 chipset, with older A-series iPad Pro models unable to power the experience.

Either way, it’s not available to anybody right now, though Apple has been hard at work testing the external display support in the iPadOS 16.2 beta, so with any luck, we’ll get an update with the functionality before the end of 2022.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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