Thursday, Oct 06, 2022, 17:54 Mac: Software

Is Stage Manager Too Buggy To Release?

At the Worldwide Developers Conference 2022, Apple announced macOS Ventura alongside iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. iPadOS 16 should finally mark the arrival of window management on the iPad platform – with which multiple apps will be freely positionable on the display. The "Stage Manager" function will also mac an appearance in macOS Ventura. However, there were a plethora of complaints from Apple fans and customers only shortly after the feature's presentation – at first, the feature was only to be supported on iPads with an M1 chip, meaning that not even the current basic iPad nor the iPad mini would be able to run the feature. Since the initial debut, Apple has back tracked a little bit and Stage Manager should also be available for the 2018 and 2020 versions of the iPad Pro.

According to Apple's preview site for iPadOS 16, the new operating system should be making an official appearance this month – although there have been countless reports that Stage Manager is nowhere near fit for release in its current form. Take for example the complaints from's Federico Viticci and Steve Troughton-Smith's Twitter account about Stage Manager's current quality:



Viticci reported that his dock disappears as soon as the iPad is reorientated, after which point there are only black edges around each window. Additionally, the keyboard freezes in apps like Mail – although this can apparently be fixed once shortcuts and text prediction are turned off in the iPadOS Settings app. Moreover, resizing windows also frequently results in unexpected behavior or crashing.


Steve Troughton-Smith even bragged about how he managed to get the current beta version of Stage Manager to crash within no more than 5 minutes. Since a number of pre-release versions now, there's apparently still an error present that causes moving windows whilst the feature is active to then transfer those inputs to the app – leading to some rather confusing, unexpected behaviours in many instances.

How Will Apple Respond?
Apple doesn't have much more time, when it still wants to release iPadOS 16 this month in its final version. There's only one option until then for the company: To fully hammer out any remaining errors still plaguing Stage Manager. Before each major new release to an operating system, Apple puts it through internal testing – after which the company then releases a pre-release version for developers, before finally opening up the software to the public beta program. This process and the evaluation of feedback from various sources takes time – leaving very little time for larger changes to the overarching OS.

Thus, Apple has three options: The company can release iPadOS 16, initially without Stage Manager – and then release the new feature later, or the company could delay the release of iPadOS to either November or December to give its developers a little bit more time. It's also possible that Apple will delay Stage Manager until iPadOS 17, due to the larger number of quality control problems.

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