Stage Manager is Apple’s solution for improving (or at least trying to) the iPad’s multitasking system. The feature lets users run apps in windowed mode, but there’s a catch: it only works with the M1 iPad Air and iPad Pro. Apple hasn’t said a word at this point about changing the feature requirements, but we’ve found a way to see how Stage Manager would work on the iPad mini.
How Stage Manager works
First of all, if you haven’t seen Stage Manager in action, it basically brings windows to iPadOS 16. However, there are still some limitations when it comes to resizing and moving apps around the screen. It’s not exactly like what you have on a Mac or Windows PC, but it certainly makes the iPad feel more like a real computer.
Unfortunately, only iPads equipped with the M1 chip support Stage Manager. Apple says it set the M1 chip as a requirement because Stage Manager lets users open up to eight apps simultaneously. Stage Manager also enables full support for an external display up to 6K resolution, and unsurprisingly, Apple claims that other iPads don’t have enough performance for this.
Some users didn’t seem to believe Apple’s statements as some of them are quite controversial. For instance, the company argues that Stage Manager benefits from the fast memory swap that is only available on the M1 chip. However, the 64GB iPad Air 5, which runs Stage Manager, lacks RAM swap.
Stage Manager on the iPad mini
Officially, there’s no way to enable Stage Manager on non-M1 iPads. However, 9to5Mac found a hidden internal mode in the iPadOS 16 code that enables Stage Manager on any iPad running the latest version of the operating system. Since there’s no jailbreak tool available for iPadOS 16, we can’t enable this mode on a real iPad, but we can take a look at it using iOS Simulator – an Apple tool that lets developers test their apps on a Mac.
More interesting than seeing Stage Manager working on the previous generation iPad Pro or iPad Air, I was wondering what the feature looks like on the iPad mini. And this is what I just found out.
Of course, the iPad mini’s display is too small for an advanced multitasking system, but still, Stage Manager can be quite useful for some iPad mini users. I took some screenshots of the iOS Simulator and sent them to my iPad mini so I could get a better idea of Stage Manager’s usability in terms of interface size. Honestly, everything looks good enough for me.
You can open three iPhone-sized apps side by side without compromising usability, which seems perfect for checking multiple social networks while you read something. You can also open a larger window while leaving smaller windows in the background to quickly switch between them, which is great for dragging and dropping items.
Current iPads can already open up to three apps simultaneously with Split View and Slide Over, but the experience is much more limited since you can’t have all three apps side by side.
Will Apple ever change that?
Some users are willing to have a limited version of Stage Manager available for non-M1 iPads, but Apple has never said if it will ever do this.
After seeing Stage Manager working on the iPad mini, I’m convinced that I’d like to have the option to run apps in windowed mode, even with some limitations compared to the M1 iPads. As I once said, having windows is not only about how many apps you can run at the same time, but it’s also about organization.
Stage Manager isn’t exactly perfect, but it certainly improves the iPad’s poor multitasking system – and it’s a shame that Apple wants to keep it for the more expensive iPads.
For now, iPadOS 16 beta remains available exclusively to developers. According to Apple, the first public beta will be released this month, while the official release is expected this fall.
Sometimes an iPad must be placed into Recovery Mode before it can be restored or updated successfully with a computer. For example, if an iPad gets stuck on a black screen with an Apple logo for a very long time, Recovery Mode can usually remedy that. Typically Recovery Mode is used for a troubleshooting endeavor, but it can also be used for downgrading from iOS beta / iPadOS beta versions as well.
The instructions here will show how to enter Recovery Mode on iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, and the earlier iPad Pro models with a Home button. Basically if the iPad has a Home button, the instructions detailed here will work to put the iPad into Recovery Mode. However, any newer model iPad Pro without any front buttons and with Face ID instead must use these instructions to enter Recovery Mode instead on iPad Pro 2018 and newer devices.
How to Enter Recovery Mode on iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, early iPad Pro
To enter Recovery Mode on iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, and earlier iPad Pro with Home button (2017 and earlier models, this will not work on the modern iPad Pro 2018 and later models), you will need a computer (Mac or Windows PC) with iTunes and a USB cable to connect the device to the Mac or PC with.
First turn the iPad off, do this by pressing and holding the Power button until the Power Off slider appears on the screen and then sliding on that to power it off
Launch iTunes on the computer *
Hold down the Home button while connecting the iPad to the computer with a USB cable
Continue holding the Home button until iTunes (or Mac Finder) shows a message stating that an iPad in Recovery Mode has been detected
After the iPad, iPad mini, or iPad Air has been detected by iTunes (or Finder), it can be restored with iTunes, or updated as usual. If you’re on a beta iOS version, you can also downgrade to the last stable build while in Recovery Mode.
* Use iTunes for MacOS Mojave 10.14 and earlier, and all Windows PC computers will use iTunes too. If the Mac is on MacOS Catalina 10.15 or later, then use the Mac Finder instead of iTunes.
Exiting Recovery Mode on iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini
If you want to exit out of Recovery Mode without performing any action in iTunes, you can do so with a simple force restart of the iPad.
Hold down the POWER button and the HOME button concurrently until the Apple logo appears on the screen, signifying it has been force restarted
After you reboot the device to exit recovery mode, it will boot as normal. Or if it was experiencing difficulty, like getting stuck on the Apple logo screen, it will probably just boot directly back into that if you didn’t actually run through recovery to restore the iPad.
Almost all serious issues with an iPad can be resolved through Recovery Mode, but rarely in some very stubborn cases you may need to put the iPad into DFU mode instead and restore from there. That’s quite rare however, and is really only applicable for when Recovery Mode is not working successfully for a restore or device update.
All iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch models can be placed into Recovery Mode, though the instructions for doing so differs per device.
Apple has released two new hardware updates to the iPad lineup; a new iPad Air 10.5″ model, and an updated iPad mini 7.9″ model.
The new iPad models will be appealing to many users for differing reasons, as the iPad Air 10.5″ is a step closer to an iPad Pro in many ways, while the iPad mini 7.9″ is the smallest and most portable iPad.
Both the new iPad Air 10.5″ and iPad mini 7.9″ feature an A12 CPU, Touch ID, support for the 1st generation Apple Pencil (but not the new 2nd generation Apple Pencil), a laminated display, and start at 64GB storage capacities with a maximum of 256GB storage available for each. Each model can also be purchased with optional LTE cellular connectivity for an added cost.
With the addition of the new iPad Air (3rd generation) and iPad mini (5th generation), this means that Apple is now selling five different screen size iPads, including the iPad Pro 12.9″ model, iPad Pro 11″ model, the iPad Air10.5″ model, the iPad 9.7″ model, and the iPad mini 7.9″ model, with each iPad size also coming in three different color options, possible LTE cellular connectivity, multiple storage capacity configurations, and at different price points. For consumers looking to differentiate one model from another, the official iPad comparison tool on apple.comcan help.
Let’s kick off with what’s new with the iPad Air, which we thought was effectively replaced with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in 2017. In essence, this is the iPad Air 3, but much as with the iPad mini, Apple’s dropping the numerals. It’s now just the iPad Air.
The price sees a welcome change, as Apple now sells it for a starting price of $499 instead of the $649 we saw with the iPad Air 2. There’s also a change in storage options, as Apple only sells the new iPad Air in 64GB and 256GB configurations. Before, you could buy the iPad Air 2 with 16, 32, 64, and 128GB options. It’s a smart move for a more data-hungry age.
The tablet is also bigger—insomuch it has the same 9.8 by 6.8-inch frame as the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro. For comparison, the iPad Air 2 measured 9.4 by 6.67 inches. And much like the old iPad Pro, the new iPad Air supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. That could be a big deal if you don’t want to pay iPad Pro prices but don’t like the smaller screen of the 9.7-inch iPad—or the new 7.9-inch iPad mini.
The iPad Air essentially looks like an older iPad Pro now.
I especially like that the new iPad Air sports the A12 Bionic processor found in the iPhone XS and XR, which marks a massive jump from the A8X chip in the iPad Air 2. Keep in mind, though, that it’s not quite as fast as the A12X chips that we find in the 2018 iPad Pros.
The display has changed, too, as the resolution is now 2224 by 1668, up from 2048 by 1536. It’s also packed with Apple’s TrueTone technology that adapts to ambient light in order to deliver a more natural viewing experience. That display is also laminated, which effectively means the glass sits on top of the display. When you use an Apple Pencil, it makes for an experience that feels slightly more like writing on paper than what you’ll get with an unlaminated display. Unfortunately, the iPad Air didn’t inherit the iPad Pro’s ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate, which makes everything from Apple Pencil strokes to scrolling through webpages a bit smoother.
The iPad Air is also brighter, as it delivers 500 nits of brightness versus the 415 in the older model. That’s great if you often have to use your iPad in the sunlight. And last but certainly not least, the front-facing FaceTime camera got a big boost from 1MP to 7MP.
iPad Air: What isn’t new
That’s a lot of good stuff, especially when you compare it to the iPad Air 2. When you compare to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, though, the truth is that we’re basically looking at an iPad Pro from 2017 with a better chip. In other words, if you got a 10.5-inch iPad Pro two years ago, you may not need to upgrade.
The A12 Bionic chips allow the new iPads to take better advantage of augmented reality apps.
The new model still has a home button with Touch ID, and I think that’s a bit of a bummer as the latest iPad Pros have taught me that Face ID is even better suited for iPads than iPhones. It’s still LED backlit, so don’t expect the super cool OLED displays you find in the new iPhones. Even the new iPad Pro doesn’t have that. While the FaceTime camera got a boost, the rear camera hasn’t changed much, as it still has an 8MP rear camera like the iPad Air 2. It’s still got a 3.5mm headphone jack, it’s still available in space gray, silver, and gold, and it still gives you a battery life of around 10 hours. And it still supports Lightning cables instead of USB-C.
iPad mini: What’s new
Let’s move on to the new iPad mini. A lot of you have been waiting for this one for a long time, and as you might expect after a four-year wait, it’s a massive improvement over the iPad mini 4. What’s new?
First off, much as with the iPad Air, this is now simply called iPad mini—even though it’s essentially the iPad mini 5. It also sports the A12 Bionic processor, and that’s enough of an upgrade from the A8 chip to give you around three times the graphics processing power of the iPad mini 4.
It’s also got a laminated display and first-generation Apple Pencil support like the iPad Air, along with support for Apple’s TrueTone technology. It even has a wider P3 color gamut, and Apple says its pixel density of 3 million is the highest of any iPad. The display itself is 25 percent brighter at 500 nits, up from the 450 in the iPad mini 4.
At this point, you’re almost using a digital Moleskine notebook.
The camera remains at 8MP, but the newer model reportedly offers better low-light performance and HD video recording. And here again we see the boost to 7MP from 1MP in the front-facing camera.
The iPad mini 4 only sold in a 128GB configuration, but the new iPad mini comes with both 64GB and 256GB storage options. For that matter, it now supports the same Wi-Fi and gigabit-class LTE speeds you’ll find in new iPads.
iPad mini: What isn’t new
What hasn’t changed? For one, there’s the starting price, which remains the same as the iPad mini 4 at $399. I’d be annoyed with that considering that the 9.7-inch iPad supports the Apple Pencil and gives you more screen space for $329. Nonetheless, this delivers a lot of upgrades for people who want a smaller iPad.
As for the display, it may have that TrueTone tech and the wider P3 color gamut, but the 7.9-inch display itself still has a resolution of 2046 by 1536. Like the iPad Air, it also doesn’t support ProMotion.
In fact, I’ll probably have a hard time telling the iPad mini 4 apart from the NEW iPad mini when we get ours. It still has the same 8 by 5.3-inch frame, a home button that supports Touch ID, and support for Lightning cables instead of USB-C. And yes, it still comes in space gray, silver, and gold, and it still delivers around 10 hours of battery life.
The iPhone XS Max is 25 percent larger than any previous iOS handset. So how is it as an iPad mini replacement?
Apple stopped updating the iPad mini a few years ago because sales dropped off at the release of the first iPhone Plus model. Seems lots of people prefer a large-ish smartphone to a small tablet, even if the iPad is bigger than the iPhone.
And now there’s the iPhone XS Max, Apple’s biggest smartphone ever. So we explored using one as a replacement for an iPad mini 4.
We compared the two devices when doing the tasks we originally purchased a small tablet for: reading ebooks, playing games, and social networking.
iPhone XS Max is big enough
The most obvious difference between these two is size. The iPhone XS Max is a big phone, but not as big as the iPad mini 4. The screen in the handset is 16.1 square inches, while the tablet’s is 30.0 sq. in.
But tech specs don’t tell the whole story. While the iPhone is smaller, it’s big enough for most of the jobs we asked it to do. Realistically speaking, the 6.5-inch display is as good as the 7.9-inch one for reading ebooks. There’s more page flipping, but that’s not a significant drawback.
The same goes for social-networking sites like Facebook and Instagram. The experience isn’t as good as the larger screen. But it’s good enough.
Apple’s latest handset has an OLED screen which is genuinely usable outdoors, even in bright sunlight. You can read your ebook or catch up on your social-networking feed by the pool, something the traditional LCD in the iPad mini makes very challenging.
In this particular size comparison, the iPhone XS Max’s weakest area is games. It’s easily big enough for casual games, but it’s not the best experience for something like Fortnite. That said, we consider the iPad mini barely adequate for graphic-intensive gaming.. RPGs and other games with elaborate visuals really look better on a full-size iPad. Still, playing Hogwarts Mystery on a 6.5-inch XS Max is a far better experience than using the 5.5-inch screen in the iPhone 8 Plus.
Realistically, there’s not much of a difference in resolution between the phone and the tablet. Sure, the iPhone crams 458 pixels into each inch, while the iPad has “only” 324, but it takes a magnifying glass to see one is better than the other.
iPhone XS Max has far better performance
Apple computers don’t become obsolete anywhere near as quickly as rival devices, but remember the iPad mini 4 came out in 2015. It runs a 1.5 GHz, dual-core A8 processor with 2GB or RAM.
Compare that to the blazing-fast 2.49 GHz hexa-core A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XS Max. And don’t forget the 4GB of RAM.
Benchmarks really show the difference between these two. Primate Labs’ Geekbench 4 test for multi-core performance gave the iPad mini 4 a 2,849, while Apple’s newest phone scored a 11,157. In a graphics test, the tablet scored 4,842 and the iPhone XS Max got 21,777. These two devices aren’t even in the same ballpark.
That said, processor speed doesn’t make a huge difference for ebooks or social networking. But you’ll see a big improvement with any kind of game. If your graphics-intensive shooter is painfully slow to load, try it on the XS Max.
A direct comparison of the price of these two devices doesn’t make much sense in this case because anyone who has an iPad mini 4 is still going to need some model of iPhone. And that has to be included in the cost comparison.
Adding to the complication is the fact that Apple hasn’t released a new iPad mini since 2015. If you already have one you can’t replace it with a better, faster 7.9-inch iPad. There isn’t one. And we really don’t recommend paying $399 for a device that’s very nearly obsolete.
But Apple used to sell the iPad mini by the million, so we’re assuming most of the people reading this article already have one and are now considering buying one of the 2018 iPhone models. So the question we’re trying to answer for people is, if you got an iPhone XS Max, could you quite worrying that you can’t get a good replacement for your old iPad mini? And our answer is: almost certainly.
iPhone XS Max is always with you
It’s typical to start out doing something in your iPhone, but then move to a larger device if the handset’s screen starts feeling cramped. You’ll find that doesn’t happen very often with the iPhone XS Max. You’ll read your email and check Instagram, or maybe read a chapter of the mystery you’re in the middle of, without it ever becoming worth the hassle of getting up to grab the iPad mini.
That said, the iPhone XS Max isn’t your best option for an afternoon of gaming. If you’re planning to regularly spend hours absorbed in a top-tier title, at least consider the 9.7-inch iPad that debuted this spring. It’s only $329, and is better than any iPhone or iPad mini for graphics-heavy play.
But neither iPad is anywhere near as portable as the iPhone XS Max. It’s a big phone, no doubt. It doesn’t fit in most women’s front trouser pockets. Still, it goes in men’s front pockets, and anyone can put it in a back pocket. The iPad mini 4, by contrast, isn’t pocketable at all. You’re going to need some kind of bag for it.
There’s an old saying: the best computer is the one you have with you. And you iPhone is always going to be with you. The iPad mini, on the other hand, is something extra you have to remember to bring.
iPhone XS Max: Fast, fluid, great camera, forever battery and amazing screen. What more do you need to know?
Having been the proud new owner of the iPhone XS Max for a few days, I’ve gotten a feel for the device.
iPhone XS Max is fast, fast, fast
Everything is very fast and responsive. Apps spring right open. Photos scroll without delay. Maps render without a hiccup. Everything is basically instantaneous, and it’s a joy.
It’s all thanks to the A12 Bionic chip. Apple is so far ahead in mobile chips, it’s head-spinning. One benchmark shows the iPhone XS is faster than the new iMac Pro, a $5,000-plus pro workstation!
It’s definitely not too big
Sometimes bigger really is better.
For such big phone, it doesn’t feel too big. Having used an X all last year, and liking it, I thought the Max would be too big. But it doesn’t feel as big as the old Plus iPhones used to. It feels very thin and light. My daughter compared it to a magical tablet from a sci-fi movie, and she’s right.
The battery lasts forever
iPhone XS Max battery life is excellent. I only charged it for about 30 minutes all weekend and it was fine, despite near constant use. I used it most of the day Friday, fast charged it for about half-an-hour Saturday, used it all day, and finally fully charged it Sunday morning. The battery lasts forever. The seemingly endless battery life of the Max is one of its most impressive features.
iPhone XS Max camera
The camera on the iPhone XS Max is a marvel.
The camera is excellent, especially the new Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control. The Max is less a phone, and more an advanced, near-DSLR camera with a cellular connection. It’s basically magic to take a Portrait Mode photo and then adjust the background blur afterward. Smart HDR is great, too. My photos are so much better.
The big screen is amazing
The screen is so big and clear, there’s no need to take your laptop or iPad on flights any more. The Max will do nicely.
It deserves to be caseless
Despite dropping my old iPhone X numerous times, it has just a few scuffs and no cracked screen (it was, however, often in a case). But this time, because the Max is so thin, I’m going to try it caseless for a while. I’d like to enjoy Apple’s design for a change, without a bulky wrapping. (I know; I may regret this later.)
Upgrade using iMazing
DigiDNA’s iMazing is the best way to transfer all your data and apps to a new iPhone.
DigiDNA’s iMazing software is the best way to transfer to a new iPhone that I know of. Faster and easier than iTunes or iCloud backup, it’s a seamless way to transition to a new device. Just plug in your new phone and your old phone, and the $44 software sucks everything right over.