Latest iOS and iPadOS 15 Betas Allow Apps to Request Access to More RAM

Apple is taking a major stride that will allow developers to improve the performance of their apps on iPhones and iPads, by giving apps the ability to access more of a device's memory or RAM starting later this fall.

ipad pro with m1 chip
Currently, apps are limited to the amount of RAM they can use, regardless of the amount available on the device. For example, despite the highest-end M1 iPad Pro featuring 16GB of RAM, on iPadOS 14, apps are limited to only use 5GB. 16GB of RAM is the highest amount of RAM ever offered in an iPhone or iPad, and the 5GB limitation means that apps aren't able to utilize even half of what the iPad Pro has to offer.

In the second betas of iOS and iPadOS 15, released to developers yesterday, Apple is introducing a new entitlement that developers may request that will expose their apps to more memory. Apple says that this entitlement will inform the system that an app "may perform better by exceeding the default app memory limit." Apple's developer documentation doesn't specify how much extra RAM an app may be exposed to and also says this is limited to "supported devices."

Add this entitlement to your app to inform the system that some of your app's core features may perform better by exceeding the default app memory limit on supported devices. If you use this entitlement, make sure your app still behaves correctly if additional memory isn't available.

While Apple doesn't specify the amount of extra RAM an app may request, the wording of the documentation, which advises developers to use a function to "determine the amount of memory available," suggests the ceiling of memory apps may request may be relatively high.

It's unlikely that Apple will allow developers to utilize the full amount of memory on a device. While that scenario may be useful for high-end professional apps on the iPad Pro, it would significantly slow down the system and make it harder to multitask with different apps. Users of the iPad Pro, and more so recently thanks to the M1 iPad Pro, have complained that iPadOS is limiting the true potential performance of the iPad.

Despite many users' hopes, iPadOS 15 didn’t introduce any significant features that took full advantage of the hardware of the iPad, specifically the M1-powered iPad Pro. However, the ability for apps to request access to more on-device RAM will go a long way in apps being able to utilize even more of what a device has to offer.

The new entitlement is available for developers to test, but it won't be made available to apps on the App Store until this fall when iOS and iPadOS 15, alongside watchOS 8, tvOS 15, and macOS Monterey are made available.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

haruhiko Avatar
12 months ago

While that scenario may be useful for high-end professional apps on the iPad Pro, it would significantly slow down the system and make it harder to multitask with different apps.
That scenario is useful for YouTubers to post a gazillion videos about how iPadOS is so disappointing for the ad money ?

and now, they can start to make a new one: “I was wrong about iPadOS 15”.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WB2Colorado Avatar
12 months ago
All the people who claimed they returned their iPad Pros when beta 1 didn’t allow more than 5 GB of RAM per app must feel really silly right about now ?
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JayMysterio Avatar
12 months ago

All the people who claimed they returned their iPad Pros when beta 1 didn’t allow more than 5 GB of RAM per app must feel really silly right about now ?
Silly? No.

Would they admit it? No.

Will they complain about it anyways? Yes.

It's either going to be not enough still. Or they will complain Apple should have told them Apple's plans earlier, as if Apple is obligated to do so. The point was to complain, and to make threads on complaining.

Some are still going to complain.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Serban55 Avatar
12 months ago

Please Procreate give me more layers!
procreate already on the latest beta can use up to 9gb of Ram
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yabeweb Avatar
12 months ago

Yea I definitely need more RAM for Facebook scrolling on my Facebook machine.

Just give it MacOS already!
If all you do with the iPad is facebook, you probably do not need the pro and the ram I guess.
If you need macOS you most likely need a Mac, I use my iPad pro 12.9 (m1 256) as my only device, and do not want macOS in it, Affinity suite works like a charm, Procreate as well.
2 different OS for 2 different machines, if I were you I would requeste iPadOS to improve instead of switching to a desktop os.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ian87w Avatar
12 months ago
Cool. Less reason for people to complain about it then. :D
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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