Earlier this week, Apple held its annual developer conference – WWDC 2022 – unveiling the next iteration of the operating system for its hardware, including iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, alongside a new M2 powered MacBook Air.
With iPadOS 16, Apple introduced Stage Manager, a window management feature that will allow users to resize, reorder windows and even group them. It is the closest the iPad has ever been to replacing a MacBook in your workflow. iPadOS 16 also brings external display support to iPads. But, both Stage Manager and external display support are limited to the recent M1 powered iPads, including the last generation iPad Pro and iPad Air, which means none of your older A-series chip powered iPads won’t be getting these new features with the iPadOS 16 updates. But Why? Well, Apple has explained the reason behind the exclusion of older iPads.
Why do only M1 powered iPads support Stage Manager?
According to Apple, as cited by Digital Trends, the reason for the Stage Manager exclusivity is iPadOS 16’s memory swap feature, which is quite essential for Stage Manager to work. But what is this memory swap feature? It is very similar to the virtual RAM feature you find on Android. So, the feature allows apps to convert the available memory into some extra RAM.
Now, the Stage Manager allows users to run as many as 8 apps simultaneously, and some of them can be memory hoggers demanding up to 16GB of RAM. That is where the memory swap comes into the picture, which uses the iPad’s storage to make up for the RAM that the app is demanding. And Apple says that the M1 chip handles this process much better than any older A-series chips. In Apple’s words, it is frictionless on M1.