The iPadOS 16 code reveals “internal mode” and older ipads can also enable Stage Manager
Earlier, Apple's head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, explained why the feature was limited to the M1 iPad. But this week, we saw another article about Stage Manager. An "internal mode" mentioned in the iPadOS 16 code enables this multitasking/stacked window experience for non-M1 ipads.
The code, 9to5Mac discovered, references an internal setting called Legacy Devices that enables "Chamois" functionality (codename for Stage Manager) for older Devices.
Unfortunately, according to Craig Federighi, Apple tested more ipads before launching Stage Manager and determined that only the M1 iPad would deliver the desired experience.
Even so, interested developers can still try turning on the hidden option in the first Dev beta of iPadOS 16 (and run into unexpected problems like statons).
In addition, Craig Federighi said in an earlier interview that virtual memory swapping is critical to the Stage Manager experience -- it allows up to eight application Windows to be open simultaneously (four on the home screen and four on the external monitor).
Paradoxically, we later discovered that the 64GB entry-level iPad Air 5, which is on the support list, lacks memory Swap itself (via 9to5Mac).
The executive also pointed out that Stage Manager's slick animations and beautiful shadows make for a lot of hardware. But it's also debatable, as it's also supported by the 2017 Intel Mac, which can be upgraded to the macOS Ventura.
It remains unclear whether Apple will redraw the line for iPadOS 16 / Stage Manager.
However, macOS Monterey/Live Text, which was once limited to M1 Macs last year, was finally shipped to Intel Macs after widespread user criticism.