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The best iPadOS 16 feature is coming to more iPads, but there’s a catch

It looks like the Stage Manager feature for next month’s iPadOS 16.1 release will be available on more iPad models, beyond the higher-end M1-based iPad Pro tablets after many were initially omitted.

The latest iOS 16.1 beta, which arrived today, brings the new multitasking feature to a host of other iPad Pro models, according to a report from Engadget.

That means plenty of devices carrying Apple’s mobile A-Series processors can also make use of the productivity tool. They include the 11-inch iPad Pro (1st-gen and later) and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd-gen and later).

The feature, announced at WWDC 2022 in June, is designed to enable users to quickly access whatever they are working on from thumbnail windows gathered on the left side of the display. Groups of apps can also be bundled together into a project that can be recalled when you wish to work on it and stowed neatly on the left side of the display at other times.

The feature has been beset by issues during the beta process and is reportedly the reason Apple decided to delay the launch of iPadOS 16 (now iOS 16.1) beyond September’s iOS 16 release. Whether it will work well on those older iPad Pro models running the A12X and A12Z processors remains to be seen.

However, there is a catch with this expansion. The latest beta removes the feature when using an external monitor to extend the display for the iPad Pro. For now, at least, it’ll only be possible on the iPad Pro’s built-in display. Whether that will be reinstated when Apple launches iPadOS 16.1 next month is unclear right now.

When announcing the feature this summer Apple said: “We introduced Stage Manager as a whole new way to multitask with overlapping, resizable windows on both the iPad display and a separate external display, with the ability to run up to eight live apps on screen at once. Delivering this multi-display support is only possible with the full power of M1-based iPads. Customers with iPad Pro 3rd and 4th generation have expressed strong interest in being able to experience Stage Manager on their iPads. In response, our teams have worked hard to find a way to deliver a single-screen version for these systems, with support for up to four live apps on the iPad screen at once.”

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