If there’s one new feature that has people talking a full week after the WWDC keynote, it’s Stage Manager. A radical new interface for the Mac and iPad, Stage Manager has already generated its fair share of reaction, with some people loving the new multitasking method and others questioning its benefits.
According to Craig Federighi, those reactions were expected. In an interview with TechCrunch, he explained that Apple is listening to Stage Manager’s early critics and has improvements in the works for future beta releases. However, if anyone is expecting wholesale changes to the system akin to last year’s Safari redesign, think again:
“There hasn’t been anything we’ve seen that has us thinking, like, ‘Whoa, that is unexpected news.’ Many of them are either the reaction we expect from people who haven’t sort of adapted to the system or in areas where we have refinements in flight. So yeah, we’re certainly going to continue to do that.”
Federighi also restated that Stage Manager is limited to Apple silicon machines due to the tremendous demands of the new system, and that it won’t be coming to any older devices. Stage Manager requires the fastest graphics, storage, and RAM to achieve the responsiveness that Apple wanted. “If you look at the way the apps tilt and shadow and how they animate in and out,” Federighi said, “to do that at super-high frame rates across very large displays and multiple displays requires the peak of graphics performance that no one else can deliver.”
Which is to say, Stage Manager won’t be coming to any older devices. Federighi said he would “love to make it available everywhere we can” but “can’t deliver the full Stage Manager experience on any lesser system.”
But for those who have hardware that can run the new system, you can look forward to tweaks, changes, and improvements throughout the development cycle. “Some of the feedback we’ve received are things where we’re like, ‘Yeah, I mean that’s coming in seed two or seed three!’ We already have those things identified, either that or bugs or just incomplete elements or tweaks to behavior.”
The first developer betas of iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura are out and the public beta should arrive in July.