iPadOS 16 Stage Manager needs enhanced virtual memory that only M1 supports

Posted:
in General Discussion
The biggest feature of iPadOS 16 will only run on the M1 iPads -- and it is using advanced memory management to do it.




Introduced at WWDC 2022, iPadOS 16 brought floating windows to iPad for the first time in the form of the Stage Manager feature. The supercharged multitasking interface groups multiple apps and their windows together and allows the user to seamlessly switch between them.

However, the Stage Manager feature is exclusive to iPad models with an M1 chip.

So while many iPad devices can run iPadOS 16, a lot of them won't get the floating windows experience. The only iPads that will benefit from the new multitasking interface of Stage Manager are those with a chip that was shipped in the first Apple Silicon Macs.

Apple has provided an explanation as to why such a restriction exists.

According to Apple, Stage Manager requires the fast memory swap feature in the new iPadOS. This allows apps to convert the hardware's free flash storage into makeshift RAM, for up to 16GB.

This resource-intensive environment necessitates the power of the M1 processor, according to Apple in a statement to Digital Trends.

Therefore, the 2021 iPad Pro and the 2022 iPad Air are the only devices with the power to leverage the advanced multitasking interface in iPadOS 16.

For over ten years, Apple has limited some features in OS updates to newer hardware. As an example, 4K ProRes recording is limited to iPhone 13 models with 256GB or more of onboard storage.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 501member
    Yes! I can't wait. The going back and forth between apps are cumbersome for current OS. This definitely will streamline it.
    Anilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,192member
    Makes sense why they chose M1 instead of A15 for the newest iPads. 


    williamlondondanoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    marz22marz22 Posts: 1member
    Owning a 2021 iPad mini & 2018 12.9 IPad Pro,
    I agree with the reasoning technically. Still a part of me says apple, you should have tried harder at least for these older expensive iPad pro in the wild.

    It’s called progress. Progress still can suck for various reasons.

    Well at least I don’t own a non M1 iPad Pro from 2020 and want these advanced features.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Welp, that just changed my purchase decision from base iPad to Air. There are now enough compelling reasons to jump to the higher model. That, the laminated display, and the looming retirement of the lightning port all add up. 
    MisterKitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    This is pretty much the only feature I’m excited about. Unfortunately, even my fancy iPad Pro can’t do it. I’m always hearing how Apple has put in more processing power than needed in their products. I guess that’s not entirely accurate. 
  • Reply 6 of 23
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,114member
    This is pretty much the only feature I’m excited about. Unfortunately, even my fancy iPad Pro can’t do it. I’m always hearing how Apple has put in more processing power than needed in their products. I guess that’s not entirely accurate. 
    I don’t know what quote you’re referring to, but this feature and it’s memory implementation wasn’t available when your product was designed, so you conclusion doesn’t really hold up. No computing product is future proof. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 338member
    I have the 2017 10.5” iPad Pro and I’m also bummed it won’t get Stage Manager but it makes sense. So now I consider new iPad Air or Pro. I like the ProMotion display but don’t need the Pro, really. I hope there’s a new iPad in the fall but that’s not usually Apple’s timing. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,998member
    Remember how people said M1 Macs only need 8 GB RAM because of the fast memory swap?*  Same reason.

    *8 GB isn't enough actually. There's still a performance hit when swap is touched.
    edited June 8 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    thttht Posts: 4,436member
    Anilu_777 said:
    I have the 2017 10.5” iPad Pro and I’m also bummed it won’t get Stage Manager but it makes sense. So now I consider new iPad Air or Pro. I like the ProMotion display but don’t need the Pro, really. I hope there’s a new iPad in the fall but that’s not usually Apple’s timing.
    I think the odds are pretty high that Apple will have M2 iPad Pros by October. The bigger question in my mind is when Apple will make the switch to a landscape oriented device, with the front cam, Face ID sensors on a long edge, and Apple logo turned 90°.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 107member
    Of course. Apple silicon is the future 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    Perhaps (maybe, being charitable) previous iPad processors/SoCs didn’t have aa efficient DMA to accelerate it, or as many DMA channels.  But to say they couldn’t do swapping more advanced than the on-demand paging used for memory-mapped files (which is also how executable files are loaded into a process) is BS.  From the first iPad, the processors have been more than capable of a full VM implementation.

    That being said, as soon as you start swapping, the speed of the CPU computations will be in fits and starts as it stalls while waiting for new data and/or instructions to process, and the CPU speed means nothing while stalled.  There is no magic required, any processor with paging hardware and interrupts can readily support virtual memory.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    CheeseFreezeCheeseFreeze Posts: 1,012member
    tht said:
    Anilu_777 said:
    I have the 2017 10.5” iPad Pro and I’m also bummed it won’t get Stage Manager but it makes sense. So now I consider new iPad Air or Pro. I like the ProMotion display but don’t need the Pro, really. I hope there’s a new iPad in the fall but that’s not usually Apple’s timing.
    I think the odds are pretty high that Apple will have M2 iPad Pros by October. The bigger question in my mind is when Apple will make the switch to a landscape oriented device, with the front cam, Face ID sensors on a long edge, and Apple logo turned 90°.
    The iPad is a device that has a unique positioning in the sense that it’s meant to transition from being used “in your hands” to “docked” seamlessly.
    It makes sense to keep it portrait-first because you can’t comfortably be productive for an extended time in landscape mode when it isn’t docked and held with one hand & typing/drawing on with the other hand. 
    Landscape-first is really a laptop product in my opinion.

    iOS 16 will bring an improvement for Face ID, giving iPhone users the ability to unlock their phones in landscape mode.
    I can only imagine the same will happen to iPadOS, but I got the impression it already works in landscape.

    edited June 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 23
    fred1fred1 Posts: 960member
    This is why articles that say which iPad models “run iPad OS 16” should clarify which ones run Stage Manager.  
    marz22watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,307member
    The other alternative Apple had was to hold off and bundle together M1-dependent features until a future iPadOS version, at which point they would drop support for older iPad Pros from that future version. It certainly would be a “cleaner” story to tell because it falls in line with their historical way of compartmentalizing big new features into specific (and always newer) hardware platforms. I prefer that they decided to roll out these new M1-specific features sooner rather than later even though it does fragment the “iPad Pro as-a-product-line” story just a little bit.

    Bringing new products to market is always a bit messy, both in situ and in retrospect. Things that seem obvious at an armchair quarterback level aren’t obvious at the time the product is being developed with tons of decisions piling up and release targets looming. Apple’s move to develop their own silicon gives them a lot more flexibility. But it also means that they have a lot more choices and have to make a lot more decisions on their own. They are not constrained by decisions that have been made for them by outside suppliers.

    In my experience, the single most difficult part of any product development, at any level, is making decisions. Transitioning from “anything is possible” in the realm of opportunity and uncertainty to making hard decisions about exactly what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and knowing you have to live with it, is a very difficult thing for so many people. Fortunately there are leaders who know how to handle this and don’t fret too much about the consequences. Fragmenting the iPad Pro product line a little bit by having some features that are only available on certain (new) hardware platforms and exclusionary to fairly recent previous versions is a direct consequence of this type of decision making process. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    Fidonet127Fidonet127 Posts: 368member
    This is pretty much the only feature I’m excited about. Unfortunately, even my fancy iPad Pro can’t do it. I’m always hearing how Apple has put in more processing power than needed in their products. I guess that’s not entirely accurate. 
    How old is your iPad Pro? If it has a M1 in it, it can do this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    So, when will we see an M processor iPad Mini, will the price point be about the same as the 6, and how much trade in will they give me for my 6 I just got a few months ago?
    fred1watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    thttht Posts: 4,436member
    So, when will we see an M processor iPad Mini, will the price point be about the same as the 6, and how much trade in will they give me for my 6 I just got a few months ago?
    I think it will be never. The iPad mini will stick with iPhone processors. However, that doesn't mean Stage Manager won't come to the iPad mini. If there is an A16 or A17 with 8 GB RAM, I think they may convince Apple to turn it on. The iPm is a small screen device though. Apple is going to think that people don't buy it to use like a PC laptop, but as a reading, streaming, gaming device. More of a dedicated device. It doesn't have a Magic Keyboard either. Lots of things stacked against it having Stage Manager. Don't get your hopes up.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    thttht Posts: 4,436member
    tht said:
    Anilu_777 said:
    I have the 2017 10.5” iPad Pro and I’m also bummed it won’t get Stage Manager but it makes sense. So now I consider new iPad Air or Pro. I like the ProMotion display but don’t need the Pro, really. I hope there’s a new iPad in the fall but that’s not usually Apple’s timing.
    I think the odds are pretty high that Apple will have M2 iPad Pros by October. The bigger question in my mind is when Apple will make the switch to a landscape oriented device, with the front cam, Face ID sensors on a long edge, and Apple logo turned 90°.
    The iPad is a device that has a unique positioning in the sense that it’s meant to transition from being used “in your hands” to “docked” seamlessly.
    It makes sense to keep it portrait-first because you can’t comfortably be productive for an extended time in landscape mode when it isn’t docked and held with one hand & typing/drawing on with the other hand. 
    Landscape-first is really a laptop product in my opinion.

    iOS 16 will bring an improvement for Face ID, giving iPhone users the ability to unlock their phones in landscape mode.
    I can only imagine the same will happen to iPadOS, but I got the impression it already works in landscape.

    I'd like to see more data on this. My household has a lot of iPads and the vast majority of time, it is used in landscape. Flat on a table with the software keyboard, which I do 90% of the time, it's landscape. My daughter uses her 11" in landscape, while docked to a MK, while drawing with the Pencil. Basically everyone uses it landscape including my extended family members. The only time my iPP10.5 is used in portrait is during video calls.

    And yes, Face ID works in landscape already on iPP Face ID models, and have been so for 3.5 years since the first Face ID models came out. I've never seen my son use has 2018 iPP11 in portrait, so, Face ID has had to work in landscape for a very very long time now.

    Ultimately, the "default" orientation is really about which side the Face ID+front cam cluster goes, and which direction the logo is at. The TB/USBC port is where it should be, with perhaps having another one next to it or the other side. Just would be nice to have 2. Then, the Smart Connector needs to support TB protocol. I don't care how they do it: 18 pins, fiber, 9 pins mutexed whatever, but it really should transport TB3 protocol so that when it is mag-docked, it can drive an external monitor and peripherals, and the external monitor (or whatever it is mag-docked to) can power it.

    The logo orientation only matters as branding exercise. Whatever orientation that people use the iPad in the most, the logo should be in that orientation so that people looking at the back of the iPad can immediately recognize it as the Apple logo.

    Elsewise, I definitely do agree with you that the iPad should be ambidextrous, and software should be designed as such. I'd even go as far as saying the large 12.9 iPad, and larger, should be 5:4 aspect ratio so that it is easier to use in portrait. As a tablet display gets larger and larger, 4:3 aspect ratio may get too tall in portrait.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    tht said:
    So, when will we see an M processor iPad Mini, will the price point be about the same as the 6, and how much trade in will they give me for my 6 I just got a few months ago?
    I think it will be never. The iPad mini will stick with iPhone processors. However, that doesn't mean Stage Manager won't come to the iPad mini. If there is an A16 or A17 with 8 GB RAM, I think they may convince Apple to turn it on. The iPm is a small screen device though. Apple is going to think that people don't buy it to use like a PC laptop, but as a reading, streaming, gaming device. More of a dedicated device. It doesn't have a Magic Keyboard either. Lots of things stacked against it having Stage Manager. Don't get your hopes up.
    Too late, I already have my hopes up :smile: I sure would like to see these features in the mini. They put the USB-C port instead of lightning in it which gave it all the docking capabilities of the air and pro which means it's just as easy to hook up to an external monitor at which point the screen size of the iPad itself is irrelevant. And it might not have the new magic keyboard/trackpad/case thing made for iPad, but I use mine with a Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad every day and it works great. I use it often in a desktop docked environment and these enhancements would make that even better.
    Sure, I could just get an Air or Pro, but why? I don't want to carry around that big of a device. The mini size is great for most on the go things and when I want to do bigger screen work I hook it up to the bigger screen.
    Maybe they won't ever do it, but I think they should.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 23
    Re: logo orientation, I recall I owned stereo speakers that had 90• rotatable name plate you adjust accordingly when speakers were used horizontally or vertically. No doubt Apple could insert a flush logo disc on iPad’s back to do the same.  Remember ya heard it from ME, Apple‼️ ;)
    watto_cobra
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