Apple could theoretically enable Stage Manager for older iPads in iOS 16

Posted:
in iPad
Code in the iPadOS 16 beta has revealed that that Apple -- and only Apple -- could possibly enable Stage Manager on iPads without the M1 processor.




Apple will not add Stage Manager to pre-M1 iPads because of performance concerns and capabilities that simply will not be changed by the release of iPadOS 16, Apple has confusingly said in different ways since WWDC. But, a setting in code makes it clear that they've considered it, and have tested it.

After a few days of conflicting statements about why the feature was limited, Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federighi said in an interview on June 16 that the feature was only on M1 iPads.

"I mean, we would love to make it available everywhere we can," Apple's Craig Federighi said recently about the M1 limitation. he said. "[But it's]only the M1 iPads that combined the high DRAM capacity with very high capacity, high performance NAND that allows our virtual memory swap to be super fast... we just don't have that ability on the other systems."

If only as proof that Apple really did try Stage Manager out on pre-M1 iPads, though, a new internal option has been found in the iPadOS 16 code.

The internal setting enables and disables "Chamois," Apple's codename for Stage Manager. Specifically it does this for what the code describes as "Legacy Devices." It is not a Settings toggle-switch, nor is it user-accessible in any way.

Conceivably, it's a sign that Apple's developers tested, and may still be testing, Stage Manager on older iPads, a report by 9to5mac on late Wednesday claims. It's more likely, however, that since the option cannot be accessed by users, that it simply hasn't been removed yet.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    byronlbyronl Posts: 232member
    of course they can. they’re just tired of people not upgrading from their four year old 2018 ipad pros since they’re still great devices that work great, and wanted to give some extra incentives. classic apple 
    muthuk_vanalingamdanoxwilliamlondonlkruppappleinsideruser
  • Reply 2 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,213member
    Apple hasn't been as clear with its statements as it could have, and I suspect the reason is the feature can run on older hardware and, dare I say, acceptably well for many users.

    Perhaps just by reducing the strain on older systems by not aiming for as high a resolution and reducing the amount of open apps could be enough. 

    It would be nice if someone just came out and provided clear answers to the follow up questions that have emerged so far. 

    Apple is basically saying 'we need this hardware to meet our user experience goals' and then evading the questions that arise from that statement. 

    For example, if the top resolution was reduced and less apps needed to be opened, would responsiveness, latency, overhead etc be suitable for users with older hardware? 

    Some might see this as Apple setting the bar deliberately high to make those hardware claims. 
    edited June 16 muthuk_vanalingamraybo
  • Reply 3 of 17
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 362member
    I think they should allow a restricted version on the A12Zs perhaps allowing Stage Manager to run on the iPad but not on an external monitor.

    SM allows 4 groups of up to  4 apps, one set on the iPad and another set on up to a 6K external monitor. That's potentially 32 apps plus external monitor support.

    Is that likely? No. But many older iPads like the A12X on the 2018 model only have 4GB of RAM and that's a far cry from the 8 or 16GB available on the new M1 iPads.

    The A12Z in the DTK did run the full version of macOS... but with 16GB of RAM.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,239member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple hasn't been as clear with its statements as it could have, and I suspect the reason is the feature can run on older hardware and, dare I say, acceptably well for many users.

    Perhaps just by reducing the strain on older systems by not aiming for as high a resolution and reducing the amount of open apps could be enough. 

    It would be nice if someone just came out and provided clear answers to the follow up questions that have emerged so far. 

    Apple is basically saying 'we need this hardware to meet our user experience goals' and then evading the questions that arise from that statement. 

    For example, if the top resolution was reduced and less apps needed to be opened, would responsiveness, latency, overhead etc be suitable for users with older hardware? 

    Some might see this as Apple setting the bar deliberately high to make those hardware claims. 
    I think Apple has been very clear in its messaging and has answered the questions asked of them. It's just that some folks don't like their answer. 

    Let's say that Apple released a feature that they knew was going to run like crap on certain supported machines. Should they then put a team in place to handle all of the inquiries about why it runs like crap that are certain to occur or just tell people in advance "tough luck if it runs like crap?" If they later come to their senses and exorcise the feature from running on machines where it runs like crap do they beef up that support team to handle all of the additional inquiries about its removal, not to mention hire a few lawyers to fight the class action lawsuits that are guaranteed to occur - both from those who claim that the feature slowed down their device (we've seen these already with iOS upgrades) or from those who feel deprived when a feature they liked (no matter how bad it ran or even if it occasionally crashed their system - remember batterygate) was removed? Lose-lose situation for Apple. This entire scenario would be one of proceeding in bad faith by Apple and they would most definitely suffer the consequences. 

    As a software developer, there is nothing worse than having to put in "special" or "conditional" code in a new feature to accommodate deficiencies in legacy systems. Yes, it sometimes has to be done to handle a large installed customer base, but it is always painful and ugly to implement and it is like having a boat anchor strapped to your leg. There's a saying in software development that the best code ever is the code that you don't have to write. Is this a selfish argument on the part of developers? To some extent it is, but when you look at the volume and complexity of code that has to be developed, developers need to focus on the things that provide the most benefit for the most customers. There are always things that you have to say "no" to in order to move forward and innovate. Putting up scaffolding around a new feature from the start just to allow it to run in a substandard manner, like only support 2 window groups) on legacy systems is something that Apple is saying "no" to, at least for now. Hopefully it frees up developers to focus on making the new release more stable and functional.  

    Microsoft is definitely more accommodating in this arena, probably because until recently they didn't own the hardware piece and didn't want to alienate partners. But I know from personal experience that being able to install certain versions of Windows on certain systems results in outcomes that cannot be described as "pleasant" or "productive" in any sense of those terms.
    davwilliamlondonstompyraybo
  • Reply 5 of 17
    danoxdanox Posts: 951member
    The limitation is marketing not technical Hair-force one would not have spend all that time dithering otherwise…
    williamlondoncanukstorm
  • Reply 6 of 17
    danoxdanox Posts: 951member
    Explains all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi9qwGIdSF4

    Marketing not Technical.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 17
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,844member
    They should have "experimental features" in setting that allows people to turn these sorts of features on on below spec hardware with pin unlock to activate so can't be done casually. That would allow people to try it for their own workflow and app demands and who knows it might be acceptable for some people but not others.

    Of coarse then people would claim allowing people to get a taste of the feature(s) was forcing them to want to upgrade and Apple would still be the bad guys. But it would be good for some maybe. 
  • Reply 8 of 17
    danox said:
    Explains all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi9qwGIdSF4

    Marketing not Technical.
    Ahh yes.... the highly regarded journalism of  .....   some random guy on YouTube. 
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 9 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,213member
    dewme said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple hasn't been as clear with its statements as it could have, and I suspect the reason is the feature can run on older hardware and, dare I say, acceptably well for many users.

    Perhaps just by reducing the strain on older systems by not aiming for as high a resolution and reducing the amount of open apps could be enough. 

    It would be nice if someone just came out and provided clear answers to the follow up questions that have emerged so far. 

    Apple is basically saying 'we need this hardware to meet our user experience goals' and then evading the questions that arise from that statement. 

    For example, if the top resolution was reduced and less apps needed to be opened, would responsiveness, latency, overhead etc be suitable for users with older hardware? 

    Some might see this as Apple setting the bar deliberately high to make those hardware claims. 
    I think Apple has been very clear in its messaging and has answered the questions asked of them. It's just that some folks don't like their answer. 

    Let's say that Apple released a feature that they knew was going to run like crap on certain supported machines. Should they then put a team in place to handle all of the inquiries about why it runs like crap that are certain to occur or just tell people in advance "tough luck if it runs like crap?" If they later come to their senses and exorcise the feature from running on machines where it runs like crap do they beef up that support team to handle all of the additional inquiries about its removal, not to mention hire a few lawyers to fight the class action lawsuits that are guaranteed to occur - both from those who claim that the feature slowed down their device (we've seen these already with iOS upgrades) or from those who feel deprived when a feature they liked (no matter how bad it ran or even if it occasionally crashed their system - remember batterygate) was removed? Lose-lose situation for Apple. This entire scenario would be one of proceeding in bad faith by Apple and they would most definitely suffer the consequences. 

    As a software developer, there is nothing worse than having to put in "special" or "conditional" code in a new feature to accommodate deficiencies in legacy systems. Yes, it sometimes has to be done to handle a large installed customer base, but it is always painful and ugly to implement and it is like having a boat anchor strapped to your leg. There's a saying in software development that the best code ever is the code that you don't have to write. Is this a selfish argument on the part of developers? To some extent it is, but when you look at the volume and complexity of code that has to be developed, developers need to focus on the things that provide the most benefit for the most customers. There are always things that you have to say "no" to in order to move forward and innovate. Putting up scaffolding around a new feature from the start just to allow it to run in a substandard manner, like only support 2 window groups) on legacy systems is something that Apple is saying "no" to, at least for now. Hopefully it frees up developers to focus on making the new release more stable and functional.  

    Microsoft is definitely more accommodating in this arena, probably because until recently they didn't own the hardware piece and didn't want to alienate partners. But I know from personal experience that being able to install certain versions of Windows on certain systems results in outcomes that cannot be described as "pleasant" or "productive" in any sense of those terms.
    Some might say Apple has been too clear in its messaging. It is repeating the same thing over and over but in slightly different ways. 

    The follow up question is exactly the same, though. 

    "OK Craig, but if we bring that bar you're clinging to, down just a notch, would it be useful to a much wider group of users?" 

    The existence of what this article is describing supports that line at least. However, I haven't seen anyone at Apple even looking in the direction of that question. It's almost as if they are deliberately willing that question away to avoid giving an answer. 


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 17
    danoxdanox Posts: 951member
    danox said:
    Explains all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi9qwGIdSF4

    Marketing not Technical.
    Ahh yes.... the highly regarded journalism of  .....   some random guy on YouTube. 
    When the M2 laptop is released to the public Maxtech will be the only site that will take a deep dive into the M2 machine, the rest will give a surface review.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlmkoOwBC4U

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_jw38QD5qY

    And this channel is the only one that will run a set of EV cars until it dies to test range, the other channels all of them will do a surface review and that’s it. Not one American channel has stepped up so far 10 years into electric EV age to do so.

    (Tesla Cultist do not like)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg6-Vc9CSwk

    The decision by Apple is marketing/financial like that keyboard fiasco.






    9secondkox2muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 17
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,223member
    It’s a restricted Expose with stacks. 

    It can be done on old iPads and macs without performance issues. 

    Apple is just trying to incentivize M series adoption. Wish Craig would just be honest about this. 
  • Reply 12 of 17
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,223member
    danox said:
    danox said:
    Explains all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi9qwGIdSF4

    Marketing not Technical.
    Ahh yes.... the highly regarded journalism of  .....   some random guy on YouTube. 
    When the M2 laptop is released to the public Maxtech will be the only site that will take a deep dive into the M2 machine, the rest will give a surface review.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlmkoOwBC4U

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_jw38QD5qY

    And this channel is the only one that will run a set of EV cars until it dies to test range, the other channels all of them will do a surface review and that’s it. Not one American channel has stepped up so far 10 years into electric EV age to do so.

    (Tesla Cultist do not like)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg6-Vc9CSwk

    The decision by Apple is marketing/financial like that keyboard fiasco.






    Max tech is great. Not always correct with predictions, but often are. 

    Beyond that, their reviews are second to none. The guys do their homework. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 17
    danoxdanox Posts: 951member
    Another YouTuber he also explains it, very well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK3zMxZ3wTM


    edited June 17
  • Reply 14 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,239member
    avon b7 said:
    dewme said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple hasn't been as clear with its statements as it could have, and I suspect the reason is the feature can run on older hardware and, dare I say, acceptably well for many users.

    Perhaps just by reducing the strain on older systems by not aiming for as high a resolution and reducing the amount of open apps could be enough. 

    It would be nice if someone just came out and provided clear answers to the follow up questions that have emerged so far. 

    Apple is basically saying 'we need this hardware to meet our user experience goals' and then evading the questions that arise from that statement. 

    For example, if the top resolution was reduced and less apps needed to be opened, would responsiveness, latency, overhead etc be suitable for users with older hardware? 

    Some might see this as Apple setting the bar deliberately high to make those hardware claims. 
    I think Apple has been very clear in its messaging and has answered the questions asked of them. It's just that some folks don't like their answer. 

    Let's say that Apple released a feature that they knew was going to run like crap on certain supported machines. Should they then put a team in place to handle all of the inquiries about why it runs like crap that are certain to occur or just tell people in advance "tough luck if it runs like crap?" If they later come to their senses and exorcise the feature from running on machines where it runs like crap do they beef up that support team to handle all of the additional inquiries about its removal, not to mention hire a few lawyers to fight the class action lawsuits that are guaranteed to occur - both from those who claim that the feature slowed down their device (we've seen these already with iOS upgrades) or from those who feel deprived when a feature they liked (no matter how bad it ran or even if it occasionally crashed their system - remember batterygate) was removed? Lose-lose situation for Apple. This entire scenario would be one of proceeding in bad faith by Apple and they would most definitely suffer the consequences. 

    As a software developer, there is nothing worse than having to put in "special" or "conditional" code in a new feature to accommodate deficiencies in legacy systems. Yes, it sometimes has to be done to handle a large installed customer base, but it is always painful and ugly to implement and it is like having a boat anchor strapped to your leg. There's a saying in software development that the best code ever is the code that you don't have to write. Is this a selfish argument on the part of developers? To some extent it is, but when you look at the volume and complexity of code that has to be developed, developers need to focus on the things that provide the most benefit for the most customers. There are always things that you have to say "no" to in order to move forward and innovate. Putting up scaffolding around a new feature from the start just to allow it to run in a substandard manner, like only support 2 window groups) on legacy systems is something that Apple is saying "no" to, at least for now. Hopefully it frees up developers to focus on making the new release more stable and functional.  

    Microsoft is definitely more accommodating in this arena, probably because until recently they didn't own the hardware piece and didn't want to alienate partners. But I know from personal experience that being able to install certain versions of Windows on certain systems results in outcomes that cannot be described as "pleasant" or "productive" in any sense of those terms.
    Some might say Apple has been too clear in its messaging. It is repeating the same thing over and over but in slightly different ways. 

    The follow up question is exactly the same, though. 

    "OK Craig, but if we bring that bar you're clinging to, down just a notch, would it be useful to a much wider group of users?" 

    The existence of what this article is describing supports that line at least. However, I haven't seen anyone at Apple even looking in the direction of that question. It's almost as if they are deliberately willing that question away to avoid giving an answer. 


    Re: "OK Craig, but if we bring that bar you're clinging to, down just a notch, would it be useful to a much wider group of users?" 

    Who is the "we" you are referring to?

    If the "we" is us, Apple users, or some subset of Apple users, what is our risk if the we somehow convince Apple to lower its quality bar? If lowering the bar ends up blowing up in Apple's face should Apple be able to come back on us to deal with the fallout, including lost revenue and erosion of reputation? Of course not, and if they even tried to say "A bunch of our customers made us do this" the prosecuting lawyers will most assuredly reply "But it's your product and you should have known better." Cha-ching goes the class action lawsuit payouts. 

    Secondly, we can make all the suggestions we want. Zero cost to us. Zero risk to us. We can even pretend that we can reverse engineer Apple's design process and make YouTube videos asserting that the A-Series iPad Pros can in-fact run a feature that Apple's engineers say they will not support on those platforms. Zero cost to us. Zero risk to us. However, Apple is the product owner. This means they own all of the costs and they own all of the risks for every single decision they make, including the disappointment that some current iPad Pro owners are feeling. Disappointing customers has absolutely zero value for Apple. Forget all the BS about trying to use forced obsolescence to get existing customers to buy updated products. Disappointed customers aren't going to buy updated products. Apple know this.

    Thirdly, wouldn't you imagine that Apple has already asked the exact question you posed internally? Tim Cook has shown himself to be a very empathic person. He seems very motivated to doing the right thing and isn't overly concerned about saving face. If Apple makes a bad decision, like shipping an unfinished feature like Apple Maps in its first release, Tim Cook will own the criticism and make it right. Everything his lieutenants do in the public space reflects on him and on Apple. If Craig Federighi isn't conveying information backed by sound engineering rationale, Tim Cook will make sure he pays a heavy price. 

    Lastly, I do understand why some people are disappointed. They really thought their A-Series iPad Pros were vastly overpowered for what Apple was asking those devices to do with iPadOS. Now we're finding out that maybe we were a little over confident, especially when you start asking an iPad to do non-tablety things like multi-monitor windows management, or at least do it the way the Apple engineers designed it to work. Hey, maybe the design isn't as robust as it needs to be and Apple should yank it and go back to the drawing board and only release it when it works on a wider range of devices. Would M1 iPad Pro owners be okay with that approach?
  • Reply 15 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,213member
    dewme said:
    avon b7 said:
    dewme said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple hasn't been as clear with its statements as it could have, and I suspect the reason is the feature can run on older hardware and, dare I say, acceptably well for many users.

    Perhaps just by reducing the strain on older systems by not aiming for as high a resolution and reducing the amount of open apps could be enough. 

    It would be nice if someone just came out and provided clear answers to the follow up questions that have emerged so far. 

    Apple is basically saying 'we need this hardware to meet our user experience goals' and then evading the questions that arise from that statement. 

    For example, if the top resolution was reduced and less apps needed to be opened, would responsiveness, latency, overhead etc be suitable for users with older hardware? 

    Some might see this as Apple setting the bar deliberately high to make those hardware claims. 
    I think Apple has been very clear in its messaging and has answered the questions asked of them. It's just that some folks don't like their answer. 

    Let's say that Apple released a feature that they knew was going to run like crap on certain supported machines. Should they then put a team in place to handle all of the inquiries about why it runs like crap that are certain to occur or just tell people in advance "tough luck if it runs like crap?" If they later come to their senses and exorcise the feature from running on machines where it runs like crap do they beef up that support team to handle all of the additional inquiries about its removal, not to mention hire a few lawyers to fight the class action lawsuits that are guaranteed to occur - both from those who claim that the feature slowed down their device (we've seen these already with iOS upgrades) or from those who feel deprived when a feature they liked (no matter how bad it ran or even if it occasionally crashed their system - remember batterygate) was removed? Lose-lose situation for Apple. This entire scenario would be one of proceeding in bad faith by Apple and they would most definitely suffer the consequences. 

    As a software developer, there is nothing worse than having to put in "special" or "conditional" code in a new feature to accommodate deficiencies in legacy systems. Yes, it sometimes has to be done to handle a large installed customer base, but it is always painful and ugly to implement and it is like having a boat anchor strapped to your leg. There's a saying in software development that the best code ever is the code that you don't have to write. Is this a selfish argument on the part of developers? To some extent it is, but when you look at the volume and complexity of code that has to be developed, developers need to focus on the things that provide the most benefit for the most customers. There are always things that you have to say "no" to in order to move forward and innovate. Putting up scaffolding around a new feature from the start just to allow it to run in a substandard manner, like only support 2 window groups) on legacy systems is something that Apple is saying "no" to, at least for now. Hopefully it frees up developers to focus on making the new release more stable and functional.  

    Microsoft is definitely more accommodating in this arena, probably because until recently they didn't own the hardware piece and didn't want to alienate partners. But I know from personal experience that being able to install certain versions of Windows on certain systems results in outcomes that cannot be described as "pleasant" or "productive" in any sense of those terms.
    Some might say Apple has been too clear in its messaging. It is repeating the same thing over and over but in slightly different ways. 

    The follow up question is exactly the same, though. 

    "OK Craig, but if we bring that bar you're clinging to, down just a notch, would it be useful to a much wider group of users?" 

    The existence of what this article is describing supports that line at least. However, I haven't seen anyone at Apple even looking in the direction of that question. It's almost as if they are deliberately willing that question away to avoid giving an answer. 


    Re: "OK Craig, but if we bring that bar you're clinging to, down just a notch, would it be useful to a much wider group of users?" 

    Who is the "we" you are referring to?

    If the "we" is us, Apple users, or some subset of Apple users, what is our risk if the we somehow convince Apple to lower its quality bar? If lowering the bar ends up blowing up in Apple's face should Apple be able to come back on us to deal with the fallout, including lost revenue and erosion of reputation? Of course not, and if they even tried to say "A bunch of our customers made us do this" the prosecuting lawyers will most assuredly reply "But it's your product and you should have known better." Cha-ching goes the class action lawsuit payouts. 

    Secondly, we can make all the suggestions we want. Zero cost to us. Zero risk to us. We can even pretend that we can reverse engineer Apple's design process and make YouTube videos asserting that the A-Series iPad Pros can in-fact run a feature that Apple's engineers say they will not support on those platforms. Zero cost to us. Zero risk to us. However, Apple is the product owner. This means they own all of the costs and they own all of the risks for every single decision they make, including the disappointment that some current iPad Pro owners are feeling. Disappointing customers has absolutely zero value for Apple. Forget all the BS about trying to use forced obsolescence to get existing customers to buy updated products. Disappointed customers aren't going to buy updated products. Apple know this.

    Thirdly, wouldn't you imagine that Apple has already asked the exact question you posed internally? Tim Cook has shown himself to be a very empathic person. He seems very motivated to doing the right thing and isn't overly concerned about saving face. If Apple makes a bad decision, like shipping an unfinished feature like Apple Maps in its first release, Tim Cook will own the criticism and make it right. Everything his lieutenants do in the public space reflects on him and on Apple. If Craig Federighi isn't conveying information backed by sound engineering rationale, Tim Cook will make sure he pays a heavy price. 

    Lastly, I do understand why some people are disappointed. They really thought their A-Series iPad Pros were vastly overpowered for what Apple was asking those devices to do with iPadOS. Now we're finding out that maybe we were a little over confident, especially when you start asking an iPad to do non-tablety things like multi-monitor windows management, or at least do it the way the Apple engineers designed it to work. Hey, maybe the design isn't as robust as it needs to be and Apple should yank it and go back to the drawing board and only release it when it works on a wider range of devices. Would M1 iPad Pro owners be okay with that approach?
    That's all fine and perhaps even the case but it still skirts the question I outlined. 

    AFAIK, Apple hasn't come out and said they tried to see if it worked acceptably once the bar was lowered. They are simply saying, 'we set the bar 'here' and the older hardware cannot handle it'. They haven't budged from that line and it does not provide an answer to the question. 

    The 'we' is an impersonal 'we'. If the bar were to be lowered, would we will still be seeing a poor user experience? If that is the case, it would be easy to come out and say it. That would kill all speculation instantly. 

    They haven't even gone near that in their statements and now we see the contents of this article which makes the question more pertinent. 


    edited June 18
  • Reply 16 of 17
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,142member
    I don’t see why they couldn’t just limit the overlapping windows to apps that can run with a smaller RAM allowance (i.e. <50% of total user available) on older iPads.  Throw a message to the user saying that more demanding apps can only run in single window mode.  I’d find that acceptable.

    How many of those demanding apps even are there? Most apps that run on M1 iPad Pro’s will also run fine on a much lower spec iPad Air, right?

    Not sure I trust Apple on this. 
    edited June 18 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,239member
    avon b7 said:
    dewme said:
    avon b7 said:
    dewme said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple hasn't been as clear with its statements as it could have, and I suspect the reason is the feature can run on older hardware and, dare I say, acceptably well for many users.

    Perhaps just by reducing the strain on older systems by not aiming for as high a resolution and reducing the amount of open apps could be enough. 

    It would be nice if someone just came out and provided clear answers to the follow up questions that have emerged so far. 

    Apple is basically saying 'we need this hardware to meet our user experience goals' and then evading the questions that arise from that statement. 

    For example, if the top resolution was reduced and less apps needed to be opened, would responsiveness, latency, overhead etc be suitable for users with older hardware? 

    Some might see this as Apple setting the bar deliberately high to make those hardware claims. 
    I think Apple has been very clear in its messaging and has answered the questions asked of them. It's just that some folks don't like their answer. 

    Let's say that Apple released a feature that they knew was going to run like crap on certain supported machines. Should they then put a team in place to handle all of the inquiries about why it runs like crap that are certain to occur or just tell people in advance "tough luck if it runs like crap?" If they later come to their senses and exorcise the feature from running on machines where it runs like crap do they beef up that support team to handle all of the additional inquiries about its removal, not to mention hire a few lawyers to fight the class action lawsuits that are guaranteed to occur - both from those who claim that the feature slowed down their device (we've seen these already with iOS upgrades) or from those who feel deprived when a feature they liked (no matter how bad it ran or even if it occasionally crashed their system - remember batterygate) was removed? Lose-lose situation for Apple. This entire scenario would be one of proceeding in bad faith by Apple and they would most definitely suffer the consequences. 

    As a software developer, there is nothing worse than having to put in "special" or "conditional" code in a new feature to accommodate deficiencies in legacy systems. Yes, it sometimes has to be done to handle a large installed customer base, but it is always painful and ugly to implement and it is like having a boat anchor strapped to your leg. There's a saying in software development that the best code ever is the code that you don't have to write. Is this a selfish argument on the part of developers? To some extent it is, but when you look at the volume and complexity of code that has to be developed, developers need to focus on the things that provide the most benefit for the most customers. There are always things that you have to say "no" to in order to move forward and innovate. Putting up scaffolding around a new feature from the start just to allow it to run in a substandard manner, like only support 2 window groups) on legacy systems is something that Apple is saying "no" to, at least for now. Hopefully it frees up developers to focus on making the new release more stable and functional.  

    Microsoft is definitely more accommodating in this arena, probably because until recently they didn't own the hardware piece and didn't want to alienate partners. But I know from personal experience that being able to install certain versions of Windows on certain systems results in outcomes that cannot be described as "pleasant" or "productive" in any sense of those terms.
    Some might say Apple has been too clear in its messaging. It is repeating the same thing over and over but in slightly different ways. 

    The follow up question is exactly the same, though. 

    "OK Craig, but if we bring that bar you're clinging to, down just a notch, would it be useful to a much wider group of users?" 

    The existence of what this article is describing supports that line at least. However, I haven't seen anyone at Apple even looking in the direction of that question. It's almost as if they are deliberately willing that question away to avoid giving an answer. 


    Re: "OK Craig, but if we bring that bar you're clinging to, down just a notch, would it be useful to a much wider group of users?" 

    Who is the "we" you are referring to?

    If the "we" is us, Apple users, or some subset of Apple users, what is our risk if the we somehow convince Apple to lower its quality bar? If lowering the bar ends up blowing up in Apple's face should Apple be able to come back on us to deal with the fallout, including lost revenue and erosion of reputation? Of course not, and if they even tried to say "A bunch of our customers made us do this" the prosecuting lawyers will most assuredly reply "But it's your product and you should have known better." Cha-ching goes the class action lawsuit payouts. 

    Secondly, we can make all the suggestions we want. Zero cost to us. Zero risk to us. We can even pretend that we can reverse engineer Apple's design process and make YouTube videos asserting that the A-Series iPad Pros can in-fact run a feature that Apple's engineers say they will not support on those platforms. Zero cost to us. Zero risk to us. However, Apple is the product owner. This means they own all of the costs and they own all of the risks for every single decision they make, including the disappointment that some current iPad Pro owners are feeling. Disappointing customers has absolutely zero value for Apple. Forget all the BS about trying to use forced obsolescence to get existing customers to buy updated products. Disappointed customers aren't going to buy updated products. Apple know this.

    Thirdly, wouldn't you imagine that Apple has already asked the exact question you posed internally? Tim Cook has shown himself to be a very empathic person. He seems very motivated to doing the right thing and isn't overly concerned about saving face. If Apple makes a bad decision, like shipping an unfinished feature like Apple Maps in its first release, Tim Cook will own the criticism and make it right. Everything his lieutenants do in the public space reflects on him and on Apple. If Craig Federighi isn't conveying information backed by sound engineering rationale, Tim Cook will make sure he pays a heavy price. 

    Lastly, I do understand why some people are disappointed. They really thought their A-Series iPad Pros were vastly overpowered for what Apple was asking those devices to do with iPadOS. Now we're finding out that maybe we were a little over confident, especially when you start asking an iPad to do non-tablety things like multi-monitor windows management, or at least do it the way the Apple engineers designed it to work. Hey, maybe the design isn't as robust as it needs to be and Apple should yank it and go back to the drawing board and only release it when it works on a wider range of devices. Would M1 iPad Pro owners be okay with that approach?
    That's all fine and perhaps even the case but it still skirts the question I outlined. 

    AFAIK, Apple hasn't come out and said they tried to see if it worked acceptably once the bar was lowered. They are simply saying, 'we set the bar 'here' and the older hardware cannot handle it'. They haven't budged from that line and it does not provide an answer to the question. 

    The 'we' is an impersonal 'we'. If the bar were to be lowered, would we will still be seeing a poor user experience? If that is the case, it would be easy to come out and say it. That would kill all speculation instantly. 

    They haven't even gone near that in their statements and now we see the contents of this article which makes the question more pertinent. 


    Okay, now I see the root cause of the difference in opinion. 

    One assumption is that Apple’s engineering team exhaustively evaluated which iPads could support Stage Manager, assuming that marketing and product management would want to make the list of supported devices as broad as possibly. This would yield the greatest number of happy users and keep the iPad train rolling at full speed. Only after evaluating the iPads that were capable of running Stage Manager, and explaining why, would anyone in senior management like Craig be allowed to get up in front of customers and inform them that some of the existing customer base were going to be disappointed. This is a big deal and wouldn’t be done without having done the due diligence prior to making the announcement.

    The contra opinion is that an Apple senior executive is just winging it and making a proclamation based on something else, like trying to drive existing customers of n-1 generation iPads (who were left off the train) to run out and buy new ones, or an overblown sense of the quality of performance that all iPad Pros must exhibit, regardless of customer pain tolerance. Basically this is saying that we, or at least some of us, should be allowed to determine our own pain tolerance and Apple needs to back off a little from its obsession with perfection. There’s also an undertone of “show me why” when it comes to the reasons why older iPads didn’t make the cut. 

    I guess it comes down to which opinion you most closely subscribe to. If you’re in the latter camp you could try to ask Craig directly via email to publish their engineering results from having evaluated Stage Manager on A-series iPad Pro machines. I have no doubt that Apple thoroughly evaluated the scenarios in question and I have no expectation that Apple would actually disclose data that reveals their internal quality process. But it can’t hurt to ask to see the data. You could even ask to be able to weigh in on the decision. 
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