Is anyone using stage manager?

I was especially keen to use Stage Manager on iPad when it was announced … but so far I’ve used it for less than an hour then completely ignored it.

I guess that’s because it didn’t solve any problems for me and, frankly, confused me.

Same on Mac.

Is anyone using it?


Gave it a shot - missed the screen real estate it took up and didn’t see a benefit to it. A solution to a problem I didn’t have.


I tried it, but like @mmoran the “lost” space annoyed me and the arbitrary window placements, movements and Stages (open a new window, here’s a new stage for you) frustrated me.

I’m very happy with Split View, I just want Apple to allow that on an external monitor without mirroring. 4 windows at a time (2 on each screen) is plenty for me.

This is my experience as well. I haven’t seen any benefit from it. On the Mac is seems like a larger and more annoying version of the dock. :slight_smile:

Nope. Agree with the other comments. I immediately turned it on with one of the early betas. I was underwhelmed and could not see any benefit over current workflow. A few weeks ago I had one of those “I really should be using this” moments and turned it on again. Lasted a day.

I use it sometimes for the grab bag of communication apps. I’m always trying to push iPad use to be more deeply immersive, so I don’t have that view open often. Split View still seems best for immersive activities involving two apps at the same time, on the 12.9", anyway. I hope they’ll keep working at the problem.

I like it and use it constantly on a 27 inch display. It doesn’t run on my “old” ipads so have not tried it there. I like to have one or 2 apps on the screen at one time, its less distracting. I still use the Dock and an app launcher called “Charmstone” for less often used applications and Folders.

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tl;dr: I still really like it and use it on Mac and iPad exclusively.


My views of it are slightly nuanced depending on the context in which I’m using it. Here’s how I’d define those contexts:

iPad - by itself
iPad - connected to external display.
macOS - Single Display
macOS - Multiple Display

On the iPad with and without an external display, I’ve found Stage Manager to be a true productivity enhancer. I thought that I would use my iPad alternatively in Stage Manager and traditional iPad multitasking with Split View and Slide Over. But I’ve never gone back to the old way. I find it very efficient and enjoyable to use.

With iPad on an external display, I find that a really amazing experience. I’ve run a test for several weeks to see what I could do with just an iPad. For the test, I’ve used my iPad connected to a 27" display through a Thunderbolt 4 hub. The iPad is on a MagFit stand. And, no surprise, I’m using an external keyboard and trackpad. I have some other things connected to the hub, too.

I’m going to write a longer post on that, but the short answer is that it has worked so well that I’ve actually forgotten at times that I’m NOT working on my MacBook. Stage Manager on the external display works phenomenally well. Yes, there are limitations about where windows can be placed. Those limitations have not created any obstacles or otherwise negatively affected how I wok on the external display.

My experience using Stage Manager on Mac [single display] has also been favorable. Same thing with the iPad, in that I have not disabled it since getting comfortable with it. I used to use Spaces and multiple desktops. Stage Manager, to my mind, is basically a variation on that theme of multiple desktops. I have found with Stage Manager active I do not need to use Spaces and I do not need more than one desktop. Stage Manager seems somewhat more efficient to me. The apps that I’m swapping among seem closer to my fingertips, if you will.

Stage Manager on a Mac with multiple displays also works fine but it has some quirks. There are two separate stage (or more if you have more than two displays). That can create some weird interface management issues. Getting a window from a space on one display into a space on the other display is not always straight forward. (I’ve sent Apple feedback on that.)

There were some weird things that I was experiencing early on. E.g., if a dialog box opened, it opened in a completely different space, which resulted in a lot of stage swapping. That is not altogether gone, but seems to have gotten better. When I run an AppleScript, the screen will swap out the stage, run, and then return me to the stage that I was on.


I’ve tried to use it, and after several months decided it is not for me.
My mind just cannot get used to the wasted space on screen on the iPad
Also the fact I could not use slide-over and quickly access my password manager and Yoink was just too much of a productivity killer for me.

(I would not even think of using it on the mac, as they are all moved to linux now with true tiling window managers)

I know what you are saying about using up all the real estate. On the iPad, though, you can make the app window expand to fill the whole screen. Plus, you can turn off the dock and the recent apps pane. Once you do that, you end up getting access to the whole screen. Same on the Mac.

I did like Slide Over for keeping OnePassword near by, like you described. But I just pull it on the stage that I’m working on when I need it. Not sure whether that is efficient as having a separate palette of slide over apps.

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Tried it, 5 minutes later turned it off. Not for me.

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Yes, to all of this! I was very happy with Split View and slide over and didn’t expect to find Stage Manager useful except with an external display. I turned it on and bounced back and forth during the public beta while there were still bugs. Since the final release Stage Manager has been on full time.

I’ve tried it with the sidebar left on and with it off. Same for the dock. For me I’ve come to prefer it with the sidebar off and the dock on. It’s easy and quick to get the sidebar when I need it. If I want an app in full screen that’s also quick and easy via dragging the corner or Globe-F.

About the wasted space some folks have mentioned. Something that has surprised me is that when I’m using a single app I usually prefer to have it framed with a bit of space on either side. Generally the apps I use on a 13" iPad Pro, don’t need the full width of the iPad. Mail, Safari, Reeder, Messages, Mona, Textastic. Having the window just a bit smaller than full screen is visually pleasing to me. If I do need it momentarily full screen, I can manage it with no problem.

When I’m using two apps I like to have them side by side either 50/50 or 75/25. I can see why some might miss slide over but I find it easy enough to either keep a third window tucked in behind two in front or, just as likely I’m good to do a three way split. On the 13" a three way app split works really well for a lot of tasks.

I’ve been doing a lot of recent work with two Numbers spreadsheets and have really enjoyed having them split horizontally, each stretching 100% across the width.

I’ve not decided what I think about the current implementation using predetermined sizes versus freeform windowing that some have called for. I think I’d probably like to have the option for both. But I actually have come to appreciate the snapping into certain sizes as it’s usually convenient and works well for what I’m trying to do. Not quite the tiling some have asked for but similar.

Use with an external display, as stated by Tom above, is excellent. I probably do 20 to 30% of my work with an external display and it’s really coming in useful for things like the above mentioned spreadsheet tasks.

All that said, I don’t think Stage Manager would be as comfortable to use on a smaller screen, certainly not with multiple windows. But I’d generally feel cramped on a smaller screen doing anything other than 1 app at a time… I suspect that’s my older eyes talking there.


Also very happy with Split View and not a fan of the wasted screen space

I used it for a while but, like others here, I didn’t like losing part of my screen and it didn’t improve my workflow. I found it less efficient than good use of extra desktops and hated the implementation for adding windows and moving them between groups. One of the worst UI implementations Apple has done IMHO.

Nope. I’ve never needed more that two apps side by side and slide over.

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Problem is that sort of defeats the purpose of using stage manager
If I have to manually resize and use apps full screen, then I’ll just turn it off, and have the advantages of slide-over again.

It’s just a feature that does not work for me, sad, but true

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I use Stage Manager on my 13” iPad Pro for one use case where it excels. Sometimes I have to attend a Zoom meeting from the iPad instead of my Mac. In SM, I can have a small Zoom window and a large Google Docs (or other app) window for collaboration. Works great and is better than Split View.

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Oooh. I can see how helpful that would be. Thanks!

I tried using it on my Mac but it seemingly took up too much RAM.

I gave it a shot, and it’s not for me. I like to use a lot of spaces with windows tilled exactly the way I like them. But, I recently got my mother a M2 MacBook Air about 6 months ago, and introduced her to Stage Manager about a week back now. She loves it. She had never minimized or closed any windows before, and everything was scattered all over her desktop.

I feel like Apple was going after the more average user in mind with Stage Manager (as they should since in all honesty us power users are a very small subset of Mac users). Since most people are like my mom and don’t close much out they will get much more out of it!