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Stage Manager on iPadOS 16: Coding on the iPad

iPadOS 16 - Stage manager, Scribble in Thai, Freeform, Weather app

Dear developers, have you ever considered coding on an iPad? I'm sure it's crossed every dev's mind, especially with the Smart Folio Keyboards and trackpads at our fingertips. Unfortunately though, it's always been something just beyond reach.

Even with CodeSandbox making it a real possibility by launching a first-of-its kind coding environment for iPad and iPhone, the limits of iPadOS always meant the laptop would remain a dev's primary battleground. Switching between a StackOverflow window in Safari and a coding app always felt a bit clumsy on iPad - until today that is!

Stage Manager - iPad becomes more like a macBook

Apple just announced iPadOS 16 at WWDC 2022, including a new window management experience called 'Stage Manager'. This awesome new operating system feature brings the flexibility of a laptop to the iPad, letting you move, overlap, and resize windows:

Stage Manager Screenshot showing 3 overlapping windows in the center, and grouped windows to the left
Stage Manager

It also organizes apps and windows automatically, providing groups of apps that can be dragged and dropped from the side of the screen. This makes multitasking much easier – perfect for designers and developers.

What's more is that you can even plug in an external display!

iPad plugged into a large external monitor
iPad + external display

Cloud IDEs: From Coding in the Browser to Coding on the iPad

If you're still shaking your head at the thought of switching to an iPad as your development environment because there's no way to install node packages or run a server, meet the 'Cloud IDE'.

Just as design and writing tools such as Figma and Google Docs made work collaborative in the cloud, so too did full-feature Cloud IDEs for developers.

GitHub launched Codespaces for example, bringing the full power of Visual Studio Code to the browser, including the editor, terminal, version control, and all the extensions.

Codesandbox for iOS - Screen with codesandbox open, and 4 avatars showing real-time collaboration concept
CodeSandbox Real-time Collaboration

CodeSandbox has been in the Cloud IDE game even longer, and take it a crazy step further with the first cloud IDE for iOS. I've been using it for a while, and really love what it offers. With iPadOS 16 and Stage Manager, surely the future of web development has arrived – online, collaborative, and on any device.

Twitter embed: I’ve been beta testing ⁦⁦⁦ @codesandbox ⁩ iOS and I’m sure iPad is replacing my mac - question is when not if!
CodeSandbox for iPad Tweet

Thanks for reading - let me know what your experience is coding on an iPad. If you're interested in Apple updates, check out their new whiteboard app called Freeform - it sounds like Freehand, and looks Like FigJam. Check out and join the Prototypr design newsletter for more. ✨

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Written by

Graeme Fulton

Making Prototypr and Letter.so

Creator of 💌 @Letter_HQ and @Prototypr

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