Performance on memory and CPU-constrained devices

Stage Manager, Spotlight and such require the fast, new, and the memory enhanced that only come from the very expensive. I do not have any of that, I frugally have the iPhone 11 with 64GB that is not enough to update each time, an off the shelf iMac 21" i3 2019 vintage that is too slow and grossly under memory equipped, an iPad get 6 that has 32GB that has become so slow (it’s quicker to drive to the place than look it up).

From the small list of very expensive items to upgrade I cannot use any of the features of Spotlight, searching cannot be forced to use only a few reliable methods other than suggesting apps that will increase the search time by orders of magnitude. Stage manager becomes so slow that I have found I must delete most apps to just maintain a working iPad, iMac…

The worst case of all is using Photo’s in the cloud, I do not have the room to store most on site so The Cloud makes sense (or so they say) - a simple search turns into hours because everything must now be downloaded. The download speed is fine but the OS speed is not. Tip; Use an Apple TV to view your Photo’s, adds years to your life.

In the end if you have the new, fast and more than enough memory you have a chance of using any of these items to a level that might be useful. Spotlight will not search for known items within the Contacts if the Contacts app is not running, it may take 15 minutes to run but it may be successful, rather than fail completely. Spotlight will not find a recently created document if you have less than 20 minutes to wait.

The final answer is NO, I do not use Spotlight nor Stage Manager because it does not work in less than 20 minutes with results that would be anticipated.

May this also serve as a warning to ignore most if not all reviews and to not purchase any basic or affordable anything. Speed and processor do not matter, it’s the memory that counts.

In the past, the low-end models were often problematic, which is why we recommended against buying them (particularly the 21-inch iMac with a hard drive, which was a terrible machine).

With the M-series Macs, the low-end models seem to have enough power for all normal uses. Personally, I’d still recommend 16 GB of RAM rather than the default 8 GB, but even 8 GB works for most.

That said, Spotlight shouldn’t be that slow. It has been around for 18 years and has run on Macs with far less power than what you’re using. I’d recommend rebuilding the Spotlight database.

Stage Manager is a different story. It has steep system requirements on the iPad and works only on Ventura-compatible Macs.

I’m not sure what the iCloud Photos issue is—searches will take place on local data. Downloading isn’t necessary. It’s possible, even likely, that resetting the Spotlight database will help that too.