iPadOS 16 is one of the biggest updates to iPadOS in recent times, filled with features for multitasking and making it more PC-like. Among these updates is Stage Manager, which allows users to resize tabs, reorder them, and group multiple apps together. Unfortunately, it appears to only be supported on iPad models powered by the M1 chip.
While iPadOS 16 is available on a lot of older iPad models, Stage Manager looks to be exclusive to the M1-powered iPad models. The primary reason for this limitation is iPadOS 16’s new memory swap feature. This feature allows an iPad to use the device’s onboard storage as RAM for demanding applications, similar to the RAM expansion feature in many Android phones.
With memory swap, up to 8 apps can run simultaneously, and have access to 16GB of RAM in total. For this demanding workload, it looks like only the M1 chip has the raw power to perform it.
A question that is yet to be answered is whether Apple will limit the feature to higher storage models of the M1-powered iPads. Apple has done this before with ProRes 4K recording video support, which is only available on 256GB or higher variants of the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.
The M1 chip is available on the latest 2021 iPad Pro models and the 2022 iPad Air (5th Gen). Other features of iPadOS 16 will come to other models of iPads including iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), and older models of the iPad Pro.