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Home / News / The iPad gets more flexible multitasking and external display support at last

The iPad gets more flexible multitasking and external display support at last

Stage Manager is in iPad OS 16 as well as macOS Ventura - but will it work well on smaller displays?

Apple iPad iOs16 display

The iPadOS 16 update coming later in 2022 is intriguing because it has a couple of additions that Pro users have been asking for – both of which should mean that more powerful iPads can be used as more of a full laptop replacement.

Stage Manager is a more flexible way to multitask without having windows side-by-side (which you’ve been able to do for a while). Note though, that this feature will perplexingly only be available for iPads with an M1 chip for now.

With Stage Manager, windows can overlap and be of different sizes. How this will work on smaller displays (like the iPad Mini’s) in time remains to be seen, but it has been much-requested, so kudos to Apple for introducing it.

On the Mac, Stage Manager is also integrated within the new macOS Ventura, but it feels like a glorified version of the Windows Task View switcher. And of course, you’ve long been able to switch between Mac windows, too using Command+Tab. On the Mac, as on the iPad, other recent open apps are shown on the left in order of recency.

As for external display support, the M1-powered iPad Air and iPad Pro now enable you to work in up to 6K resolution on an external display with up to four apps on the iPad’s screen and four apps on the external display (why only four?).

Elsewhere, the iPad also has a new Freeform app – essentially a Microsoft OneNote equivalent for collaboration on a flexible canvas. It’s like a supercharged Notes, if you will.

You can also collaborate in various Apple apps using Messages, too. And as with the iPhone, iPad OS also enables you to grab Live Text from video. Also, finally, the Weather app comes to iPad. Only 12 years late…

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home