Stage Manager: iPad Pro Unleashed?
Stage Manger is the biggest update to the iPad since it introduced multitasking to the iPad and could drastically change the future trajectory of the iPad. Its gotten to the point there is an entire category of people who have either grown up on iPhones + iPads or have embraced the iPad life, like myself, that working with iOS is just the default and MacOS is the alien thing (Well, I’m still kinda the opposite, but stick with me). I grew up with general purpose computers, but since day one I have loved the iPad and seen its potential as a computing platform for everyone. At first I thought it was odd being a separate mode that you have engage on the iPad, but I think that’s for the best. The default iPad experience is still as a focused unitasker or at most two things on the screen at one time. More complicated interfaces like Notification center or widgets are hidden away so that somebody who does not want them, but are easily available for those who are seeking them. My iPad is the 11” iPad Pro M1 and for me I’m still probably going to stick with the default multitasking experience with snapping applications purely due to the smaller screen size, but I just love the idea that going forward I can flip on Stage Manager when I get home and plug into an external monitor or when I’m in the office and need some more room to spread out. If anything, this makes me want to try out even bigger iPads like the 12.9” iPad Pro or even a 14.9” iPad Studio if Apple ever decides to release one of those. I could see on an iPad Studio that Stage Manager being turned on by default since it has so much screen real estate to work with and at that big of screen size I think the assumption is that you are using it with a keyboard + trackpad as the default experience and may just pop off the screen for taking hand-written notes, drawing, editing photos, reading, games, etc. I was considering getting a Mac laptop like the M2 MacBook Air this fall, but Stage Manager has me reconsidering that idea with maybe making my Mac a Mac Mini M1 desktop to serve as a home server + occasional Mac when I need it and try to make the iPad Pro as my personal computer…I think for a lot of people its going to throw a monkey wrench into what they think the iPad Pro is for. I think that’s would be an interesting and fun experiment. I’ve been talking for a while now how the iPad Pro has desktop-level applications, just focused on running one a time instead of having a million floating windows. Stage Manager, particularly for the 12.9” iPad Pro really does make it into a Mac competitor for the first time without compromising the initial vision of the iPas the computer for everyone else. There is definitely a future that I could see my iPad Pro being my home computer that I use in the Magic Keyboard on the go, pop it out into a folio for around the house, and then plug it into my 27” monitor with its Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to podcast with my friend at night or work on homework for school where I have research on one screen and the paper I’m writing on the other screen. I think that this is the beginning of an exciting new future for the iPad and I cannot wait to give Stage Manager a go this fall.