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Apple Might Give Your Old iPad New Life Again
One of the best features introduced by iPadOS 16 is Stage Manager, adding a Mac-level computing trick to Apple's tablets. The feature is currently exclusive to iPads with the M1 silicon inside, as Apple has stressed that only the M1 delivers enough juice for the feature to work smoothly on iPads — but it appears that there is still some hope for non-M1 iPads.
The folks over at 9to5Mac did some digging in the code of iPadOS 16 and found a hidden setting that can enable Stage Manager on older iPads with Apple's A-series processors. There is no official word from Apple on the matter, and Apple’s explanations in the past for why Stage Manager is exclusive to M1 haven’t really been satisfactory.
At first, Apple noted that Stage Manager requires a certain level of computing and graphics power to achieve the desired level of responsiveness on its products, in particular a fast memory swap system. However, the memory swap system is not available on the 64GB storage variant of the iPad Air 5, which has the M1 silicon ticking under its metallic shell.
Apple continues to market Stage Manager as an M1 exclusive, but there's another caveat that the company hasn't really said out loud. The official iPadOS 16 Preview page notes that virtual memory swap requires at least 256GB of onboard storage, which should technically rule out the 64GB variant of the M1 iPad Air and the 128GB trim of the iPad Pro with the M1 silicon inside.