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Mastering Stage Manager on iPads: Expert Tips, Tricks & How To

Experience a desktop-like multitasking experience with Stage Manager on iPads. Learn how to enable this feature and master multitasking.

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Stage Manager for iPads

Ever find yourself swiping between apps on your iPad, wishing for a more desktop-like experience? Enter Stage Manager, the multitasking game-changer in iPadOS 17. To enable it, go to Settings, tap Multitasking & Gestures, and tap the checkbox below Stage Manager.

As a writer who juggles research, drafting, and communication, I’ve found Stage Manager to be a revolution. It streamlines my workflow and makes my iPad an even more powerful tool.

Turn on Stage Manager on iPads

Getting Started with Stage Manager on iPads

What is Stage Manager?

It’s a new feature that transforms your iPad into a productivity powerhouse, allowing you to resize, overlap, and switch between apps with ease. Currently, I’m using my iPad as a laptop replacement, and Stage Manager helps me organize my tasks smoothly.

Read: The Best iPad for Multitasking

Before You Start: Check your iPad’s compatibility

Only the newest iPad models support Stage Manager. To check if your device is compatible with the feature, follow these steps:

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap About.
  • Check your device’s Model Name.
How to check your iPad's compatibility to Stage Manager

Note: The following iPad models can use Stage Manager: iPad Air (5th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (all generations), and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later).

Upgrading to iPadOS 17

Stage Manager requires an M1 CPU and iPadOS 17. Make sure your device’s OS is up to date to use this feature. Also, make sure you have an iPad that’s ideal for multitasking.

  • Plug in your iPad and connect to Wi-Fi.
  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap on General.
  • Select Software Update.
  • If an update is available, tap Download and Install for iPadOS 17.
How to update your iPad's software to enable Stage Manager

My iPad Air is currently running the latest version of iPadOS, allowing me to activate Stage Manager through the Settings app.

Read: Best iPad to use Stage Manager

Another Way to Enable Stage Manager

I found a convenient shortcut to access Stage Manager, and a swift swipe and tap is all it takes. Instead of navigating through Settings, you can unlock the feature on your iPad more quickly with the Control Center.

Here are the steps to do it:

  • Swipe down from the top-right corner to access the Control Center.
  • Tap the Stage Manager icon.
How to enable Stage Manager on Control Center

Understanding the Stage Manager Interface

Imagine your apps on a stage, with the main act front and center and the supporting acts to the side. That’s the workspace concept. You have your center window, thumbnails, and the Dock all on one screen.

  • The Center Window refers to the app you’re currently using and appears in the center of the screen.
  • The Thumbnails are other apps you’re using displayed on the side.
  • The Dock contains the apps you set for easy access.

Note: Thumbnails are arranged based on recent use, displaying up to six icons (depending on your desktop size).

Stage Manager Interface

Mastering Multiple Apps

The Stage Manager is a powerful tool for multitasking on your iPad, allowing you to manage multiple apps and windows efficiently. For a writer like me, it makes it easy to open and arrange apps and create and switch between workspaces for a more focused writing experience.

Opening Apps

When you activate Stage Manager, the app you’re currently working in will move to the center of the screen. All other open apps will shift to the left, forming a list of recent apps along the side.

To open a new app, follow these steps:

  • In Stage Manager, tap the App Library or Dock.
  • Drag the app to the workspace.
Open an app on Stage Manager

Arranging Apps

Arranging apps on your iPad using Stage Manager offers several benefits, especially for productivity. In my case, I keep my writing app open while referring to other documents and websites in separate windows. This lets me quickly switch between them without losing focus.

To arrange apps, follow these steps:

  • Touch and hold an app.
  • Drag to position it on the screen.
Arranging apps on Stage Manager

Creating Workspaces

A workspace is a Stage Manager screen where you can work with different apps simultaneously. My default workspace consists of 3 apps I use most often: Safari, Google Docs, and Notion. But you can also make more workspaces to suit your preferences.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Open an app.
  • Tap the three-dotted menu at the center.
  • Select Add Another Window.
  • Tap the app you want to add to your workspace.
How to add an app to a Stage Manager workspace

Once you’ve set up your workspaces, you can simply tap another workspace in the Recent Workspace thumbnail or an app in the Dock to switch between them.

Stage Manager for Power Users

Now that you have mastered Stage Manager, let’s explore additional features to enhance your productivity further. These are especially helpful if you’re a developer, designer, or creative professional who wants to tackle resource-intensive tasks without losing focus on what matters most.

App Exposé

App Expose is a feature that lets you manage and switch between app windows efficiently. When you have multiple app windows open (for example, Safari, among other browsers), App Exposé lets you see all these windows for a single app.

To activate it, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Home Screen.
  • Long-press on an app until a menu appears.
  • Tap on Show All Windows to open the App Exposé for that app.
How to turn on App Exposé

If you’re in an app or using Split Screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Dock and tap an app icon to access App Exposé.

Keyboard Shortcuts

You can also take advantage of keyboard shortcuts to enhance your multitasking experience. Here are some of the useful shortcuts I often use:

  • Press Ctrl + Cmd + N to open a new Things window on Safari
  • Use Ctrl + Globe + ↑ to add another app’s window to the current set
  • Press Cmd + M to remove a window from the current set
  • Use Cmd + W to close a window
  • Press Globe + F to toggle full-screen mode
  • Use Cmd + Tab to switch apps

Read: An iPad accessory that works well with Stage Manager

Experiment with Stage Manager

Stage Manager has revolutionized my writing process, allowing me to switch between research, drafting, and communication tools seamlessly. It’s a feature that truly showcases the versatility of the iPad.

If you’re interested in some apps that will work with Stage Manager, consider the Best iPad Apps for College & University Students.

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  1. Pingback: Stage Manager auf iPads: Anleitung mit nützlichen Tipps & Tricks

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