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Apple needs to fix Stage Manager or else put macOS on an iPad Pro

I know that Apple has repeatedly said that there are no plans for a touch screen Mac and that macOS will never come to the iPad. However, it’s time for the iPadOS to become much more like the macOS or else bring macOS to at least the iPad Pro line.

Overall, I like the Stage Manager feature introduced with iPadOS 16 at June’s Worldwide Developer Conference. However, it still has too many limitations to make my iPad effectively serve as my main computing device when on the road.

As Jason Snell writes for Macworld: The problem with iPadOS 16’s Stage Manager is that it can’t decide what it wants to be. It offers windows, so you’d think that it would have decided to lean toward the Mac style of doing things. But one of the best features of windows is that they can be arbitrarily resized and moved around–a feature that Stage Manager resists. iPad windows can only be opened to certain sizes and shapes, and most frustratingly, they can only be dragged into certain locations.

When I try to use Stage Manager on my iPad Pro, I almost end up with a single configuration: two windows, more or less equally sized, next to each other. I end up so frustrated with Stage Manager that I essentially re-create Split View! (In fact, if you position two windows in this way and turn off Stage Manager, it literally transforms into a Split View.)

I can’t speak to why Apple chose this hybrid approach, but I can’t say that it makes sense to me. If the goal is to provide all the power of overlapping windows, why prevent users from positioning windows as they wish? Thus the improvements over Split View are meager at best.

I’m troubled by the fact that Apple doesn’t seem to have a real vision for Stage Manager–or, if what we have right now is its vision, that it’s decided on some weird halfway step.

If the iPad is to have windows, it needs a clear philosophy behind it. We need to know why the windows are there. They need to behave in ways that make sense. The Mac has most of that, but the iPad has very little. Resizing and overlapping windows is a frustration, as is minimizing them, adding them to a stage, and opening new windows from the Dock.

Writing for TechRadar, Daryl Baxter has this to say: Stage Manager has seen a multitude of bug fixes and some recent changes where it will be available on other iPads. However, we’re still at a point where it’s buggy, confusing, and generally in a state that makes me think it’s nowhere near ready for its rumored debut later this month.

… I’ve spoken before of how Stage Manager has been in danger of falling on iPadOS’ sword with its snap-grid view and unclear labels, and it’s more relevant than ever now. The whole feature needs a rethink, but iPadOS also needs to be rethought as to how it can better serve multitasking on the iPad.

The way apps snap to a grid is an iPadOS quirk, not something mandated by Stage Manager. It’s why the feature works better in macOS Ventura, as there’s no grid for an app to snap to – you can place an app anywhere on the screen.

And Techzie, has this to say: Stage Manager also makes the interface often feel chaotic and cumbersome. Apple is often known for an intuitive interface, but Stage Manager on the iPad doesn’t fit in seamlessly. For example, apps open automatically in a thumbnail view. If you have a page full screen If you want to open it, it takes just a little too much effort. Grouping different apps is also often in the way rather than providing relief.

There are several other opinion pieces such as this. I really hope that Apple works out the issues with Stage Manager, even if it has to delay the next rev of iPadOS to November or later. 

I use my iPad Pro for so much that being able to use it as a secondary Mac while traveling would be fantastic. However, until Apple works out the multitasking issues or else brings macOS to the iPad Pro, that’s still not feasible for me.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today
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