Things I like about Stage Manager on iPad:

  • The basic concept. I made stacks for social networking and news apps, for instance, and that’s handy.

  • The new window sizing controls. I prefer being able to grab an obvious corner and resize. I like dragging windows around to position them. I never quite got the hang of the previous multitasking gestures/behaviors.

  • The little side dock or whatever it’s called. It feels fluid to zip in and out of stacks/apps and stuff being held over there. It works better in landscape than portrait, so I’m looking forward to when the Pros get the landscape oriented cameras and we can all agree Landscape is the Best Grip.

For times I have a keyboard attached, I’m still fine with cmd-tab to cycle back and forth between apps (e.g. a note-taker and a browser), but sometimes cmd-tab is a little weird and I get in a cycle where I cmd-tab to the wrong app and it messes up the relationship of the two apps in the switcher. Just swiping in from the side and switching works pretty well.

So, all nice things.

What’s not working so well:

  • No gesture that I can discern for showing just the apps in the active stack. Given a stack with Twitter, Mastodon, and, I would like a gesture that tiles them all as thumbnails and lets me tap the one I want to activate because …

  • There are no titles for active apps. Sooooome of the time I can tell which app is which based on a UI element peeking out from behind the active app. Much of the time there are cases where the apps are all too similar based on what’s barely peeking out so I end up tapping around until I pick the right one. Maybe a long-press on a given bit of window that made a quick pop up with app and/or active document name? Or maybe a swipe-in-from-right to complement the way swipe-in-from-left shows the stacks dock.

  • I am struggling to understand the gestures related to sending a stack to the shelf. Right now, for instance, I am writing in If I swipe up from the bottom, appears to minimize to Safari in the dock. But if I tap on Safari on the dock, Safari is what maximizes (which is correct, but why did disappear into Safari’s icon in the first place?) It may have something to do with how long I hold the gesture? Can’t tell. Guess I need to go re-read and keep practicing.