Stage Manager makes Instagram actually usable on your iPad

Stage Manager in iPadOS 16 makes it easier to use Instagram on your Apple tablet because the feature now supports iPhone apps as if they were iPad-only.

An iPad connected to an external monitor running three apps at once using Apple's Stage Manager multitasking feature in iPadOS 16
Stage Manager supports iPhone-only apps on iPad | Image: Michale Billig / iDB
  • The third beta of iPadOS 16 brings improvements to Stage Manager, Apple’s new multitasking interface available on the iPad and Mac.
  • Stage Manager now supports iPhone apps on M1-powered iPads as if they were iPad-only, which lets you run Instagram in Stage Manager on your iPad.
  • Meta, of course, wouldn’t release an iPad version of Instagram all those years, but who cares? Stage Manager makes Instagram’s app actually usable on an iPad!

Stage Manager runs Instagram as if it were an iPad app

Stage Manager is Apple’s answer to multitasking woes on the iPad. The feature is also available on the Mac, but not the iPhone. Thanks to a small but important change brought out in iPadOS 16 beta 3, Stage Manager now supports iPhone apps, as hawk-eyed users noted on Twitter. People have been hating on Mark Zuckerberg ever since Instagram debuted for not following up with a native tablet app. But with Apple’s new feature, it’s now possible to run Instagram for iPhone in a Stage Manager view on your iPad just like you would any native iPad app.

This isn’t some special optimization just for Instagram. As of iPadOS 16 beta 3, all iPhone apps are permitted to run as individual windows in Stage Manager. Apps with an iPad-specific version will work as before. Apps that provide both iPhone and iPad interfaces, like Chrome, will run as iPad apps. Read: How to set up a Mac as new

Stage Manager is a demanding feature

The only downside to using Instagram in Stage Manager as if it were an iPad app is Stage Manager’s demanding system requirements. Unless you have an M1-powered fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, third-generation 11-inch iPad Pro or fifth-generation iPad Air, you won’t be able to run iPhone apps in Stage Manager.

Remember 2x scaling?

Clearly, this isn’t an ideal solution but it’s better than vague promises we’ve been hearing from Zuck & Co. for all those years, wouldn’t you agree? This hasn’t come out of the blue. Since the iPad’s beginnings, Apple has allowed iPhone-only apps to run scaled-up on the iPad’s bigger canvas. The experience will be much better now because Stage Manager actually runs iPhone apps in a 1:1 window instead of blowing up a small-screened app to run in fullscreen mode on an iPad, which looks terrible and is practically useless. Read: How to add Apple’s live photos to Instagram stories