Stage Manager on iPad: How it works in iPadOS 16

Apple is rolling out its new Stage Manager feature with iPadOS 16 for M1 iPads and on Mac with macOS Ventura to “make focusing on tasks and switching between apps and windows easier and faster than ever.” Follow us for a hands-on look at how to enable Stage Manager on iPad, how it works, and how to use it.

Here’s Apple’s description of how Stage Manager works, which lands in iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura as a standout new feature for M1 iPads and Mac:

‚ÄúStage Manager automatically organizes open apps and windows so users can focus on their work and still see everything at a glance. The current window that users are working in is prominently displayed in the center, and other open windows appear on the left, allowing them to quickly and easily switch between tasks. Users can also group windows when working on specific tasks or projects that require different apps. Stage Manager works with other macOS windowing tools – including Mission Control and Spaces – and users can now easily access their desktop with a single click.”

iPadOS 16 is currently available as a developer beta. The free public beta of iPadOS 16 is scheduled for release in July. Learn more about installing iPadOS 16 in our complete guide.

Stage Manager on iPad: How it works in iPadOS 16

Activate Stage Manager on the iPad

  1. Run iPadOS 16 on an M1 iPad and swipe it up control center (swipe down from the top right corner of your screen or click in the top right corner)
  2. Tap the stage manager Button (3 small and 1 large square icon near bottom right corner)
  3. When you activate Stage Manager for the first time, you will see a welcome screen with a short explanation and a big blue button Activate the stage manager
  4. After enabling Stage Manager for the first time, you can quickly toggle it on and off with a tap in Control Center
  5. Stage Manager is automatically added to Control Center on compatible iPads running iPadOS 16, but you can rearrange the button’s position by going to Settings > Control Center

This is how the process looks on the iPad:

Stage Manager on iPad 1
Stage Manager on iPad 2

In use

  • After turning on Stage Manager, look for the curved white line in the lower-right corner of an app to resize the window
    • If you switch to an app and it’s in full screen, use the bottom right corner to resize it
  • You should see your other open apps on the left – move your iPad cursor all the way to the left if your other apps are hidden
  • You can drag multiple apps into a Stage Manager area
  • Tap the three-dot icon at the top center of an app to close it, minimize it, and see other options
  • Stage Manager offers full-screen support on external displays, but there are a number of bugs in the iPadOS 16 beta

Check out everything you need to know about Stage Manager on iPad in my colleague Fernando’s in-depth video below!

What do you think of Stage Manager on iPad? Is it something you use or enjoy using? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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