Apple has clearly listened to Stage Manager feedback in iPadOS 16, with a ‘close’ button arriving in the latest beta, making it easier to manage your apps on iPad.
Stage Manager is Apple’s latest attempt to solve multitasking on the iPad. While it’s only available on M1 iPads such as the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air, it lets you resize and place apps just about anywhere on the screen, as well as being able to connect the tablet to an external display.
However, there are reports from developers, who are testing iPadOS 16 betas, that the feature isn’t ideal for now, with windows disappearing, icons mislabeled, and apps crashing when resizing.
However, beta 3 seems to be fixing these bugs while making it easier for the user to close these apps, making us wonder if the public beta will be released soon.
Review: Stage Manager is good, not great, for now
If we’re counting, this is the third Apple’s attempt to see how multitasking works on the iPad. iOS 9 brought the ability to have two apps on a split screen, followed by iPadOS 13 bringing ‘Slide Over’ which would allow you to have an additional app ‘floating’ on top of the two apps you were using.
It got to the point where users wondered if this was for the iPad, especially since Apple was promoting the idea that the tablet could do the same, or better, than a regular computer.
Updated multitasking menu in iPadOS 16 beta 3. All options are now identified. pic.twitter.com/ILriOaPwQcJuly 6, 2022
However, Stage Manager seeks to solve it, and while it brings benefits, there is still some work to be done, but beta 3 is helping with that.
At the top of each iPadOS window are three dots, which allow you to minimize the app, make it full screen, or open a new window of the same app.
However, the lack of labels previously would confuse new users with this way of multitasking on iPad, but not anymore. Beta 3 clearly labels what they do, and finally there is an additional label for directly closing a window.
This will quickly reduce the steps of managing up to four apps that Stage Manager allows on an iPad, but there is a way to go. The feature still looks confusing, and the fact that there’s an invisible grid when arranging windows, so apps aren’t placed exactly where you want them, might add to some users’ frustration.
Regardless, we are still in the beta period, and feedback is crucial during this period when further refinements can take place. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the public beta coming soon, where more users can try this and iOS 16. For now, it’s encouraging that Apple is refining one of the biggest features for the iPad in years.