Snippet: Stage Manager in iPadOS 16: At the Intersection of Bugs, Missing Features, and Flawed Design ☇

Shared on October 24, 2022

Federico Viticci:

At the end of all this, here’s how I feel about Stage Manager: Apple started from a good idea – make the iPad more useful by using more apps at once – and botched the execution in iPadOS 16.1 with an over-designed, poorly tested, muddled constellation of missing features, bugs, and confusing interactions.

The first version of Stage Manager fails to make iPad multitasking more intuitive for newcomers and more flexible for power users. Today, I struggle to understand what kind of market Stage Manager is supposed to serve.

This is a pretty damning analysis of iPadOS 16’s headlining feature by one of the people it would most likely be for. This go-around has had some of the weirdest and inconsistent software releases yet and I think if one were to zoom out, we could’ve just kept iOS 15/iPadOS 15/macOS Monterey for another year to iron out all the issues. The fact that the iPad doesn’t get the iPhone’s Lock Screen, Settings on macOS Ventura sucks, and the whole Stage Manager debacle should have everyone at Apple examining how this came to be and working to prevent it from never happening again.

Then again, this is the same company that released an entirely redesigned iPad with USB-C, but still works with the Lightning Pencil (if you’re doing it for compatibility, make it work with both). They also released a new iPad Pro, but it still has the camera to the left in landscape (arguably default) orientation and old keyboards. Take some time and fix the issues and ensure consistency across the lineup.

Full disclosure: I was fighting with Messages on my Mac not syncing right just before this, so that might have added a bit of grumpiness—why don’t they just port the iPadOS version?

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