iPadOS 16 Lets Apps Use Storage as Virtual RAM on M1 iPads

Apple is adding virtual memory swap to iPadOS 16, allowing apps on the recent iPad Pro and iPad Air models to use free and available storage as extra memory for demanding workloads.

m1 ipad pro table
With iPadOS 15, certain apps can use up to 12GB of memory on the highest-end M1 ‌iPad Pro‌ which has 16GB of total RAM. With ‌iPadOS 16‌ and virtual memory swap, Apple is significantly increasing the amount of memory an app can use by tapping into available storage on the device.

For ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ models, apps can use up to 16GB of memory for the most demanding workloads. Fifth-generation ‌iPad Air‌ models with the ‌M1‌ chip and a minimum of 256GB of storage also support the feature.

Virtual memory swap and the higher memory ceiling join a list of features coming with ‌iPadOS 16‌ that are exclusive to the ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ and ‌iPad Air‌, including Stage Manager. In fact, Apple told Digital Trends that ‌Stage Manager‌ relies on this virtual RAM swap.

‌Stage Manager‌ is an entirely new way for pro-users to use their iPad, allowing users to have multiple windows of an app opened at once, overlaid on top of each other. ‌Stage Manager‌ also enables full external display support on iPadOS for the first time.

‌iPadOS 16‌ is currently available to developers, with a public beta planned in July. ‌iPadOS 16‌ will be available to all supported iPads later this fall.

Update: Apple's footnote on its ‌iPadOS 16‌ preview page originally stated that it was the fourth-generation ‌iPad Air‌ that supported the feature, but the error has been corrected.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Related Forum: iOS 16

Top Rated Comments

yabeweb Avatar
8 months ago

Same here, absolutely disappointed by this decision. If this is how Apple decides to treat its 2-yr-old ”Pro” device, I’m never buying another ”Pro”.
Never understood this type of comment.

Your "Pro" device does and will still do what you thought it was doing, you were never promised anything forward.

You based your decision on what it did for you not what it might do in the future (as nobody could guess), your 2 year old device wont suddenly stop being pro or doing it's work.

You are missing on features from the new OS, features you didn't have before, but the HW you have is still as good and as zippy on the new OS.

Bottom line, ALWAYS buy stuff for what they are capable the day you buy them, never buy things hoping they will do more in the future.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blackcrayon Avatar
8 months ago

Basically me with A11 iPhone. Seemed like a great idea at the time. Bionic chip, huge performance upgrade over A10. Now almost every feature is A12 and higher

But the glaring problem was that it was a first gen neural enabled phone and the golden rule with apple is… never buy first gen products.


First ipad was weak as hell. First retina iPad was basically an iPad 2 but with performance issues. First retina iPhone was a just a 3GS powering 4x the pixels. All sucked.
I had all those iPads and iPhones and they were great when released. And well reviewed. None of them "sucked" as far as I remembered, until they got a few years old and were no longer up to the task of the current software. Which is basically every product (though the OS/hardware requirements moved more quickly in general back then).

Saying "never buy the first gen iphone/ipad/mac" is mostly meaningless- at this point, any iPad, iPhone, Mac, etc is both a first generation of something, and a second, third, etc etc etc generation of something else. In 2 years people will be complaining about the current 13" iPad Pro missing some feature and "you should've skipped it" because it was the "first generation" product with a mini LCD display, or it had the "first generation" M1 chip. Your advice is basically to never buy anything, something better might be released later ;)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kylo83 Avatar
8 months ago
Amazing all this power for YouTube and Facebook, I mean the iPad is so slow we needed this lol give us final cut
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
singularity0993 Avatar
8 months ago

Bummer it's just M1. I've got the 2020 A12Z iPad Pro and loads of free storage. Did a whole computer as the dev transition kit, but hamstrung relative to M1. Just down to memory capacity?

I knew buying the 2020 was a kinda bad deal at the time, being just the 2018 with only an extra graphics core, and that the next would probably whoop it's ass. But I didn't realise it was such a big jump to the M1 coming to iPad and I'd then have big feature skips rather than just a general performance hit on a pretty damn powerful iPad. ?
Same here, absolutely disappointed by this decision. If this is how Apple decides to treat its 2-yr-old ”Pro” device, I’m never buying another ”Pro”.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AlexESP Avatar
8 months ago

Amazing all this power for YouTube and Facebook, I mean the iPad is so slow we needed this lol give us final cut
So you only use YouTube and Facebook? Then it’s not for basic users like you, it’s for people who use more demanding iPad apps.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
8 months ago

So the 16gb iPad wasn’t worth it when the 256 storage will give you the same 16gb ram lol
Because RAM and virtual memory on flash storage are the same thing :rolleyes:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Expected Later This Year With These 7 Exclusive Features

Tuesday January 24, 2023 4:53 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least seven exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the seven features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
Mac mini M2 2023

New 256GB Mac Mini and 512GB MacBook Pro Have Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Models

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:11 pm PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous-generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3

Tuesday January 24, 2023 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 16.3, the third major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that originally came out in September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.3 comes six weeks after tvOS 16.2, an update that added Apple Music Sing. The tvOS 16.3 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software...
watchOS 9 Feature

Apple Releases watchOS 9.3 With New Watch Face, Bug Fixes

Monday January 23, 2023 10:06 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 9.3, the third major update to the watchOS 9 operating system that first launched in September. watchOS 9.3 comes over a month after watchOS 9.2, an update that added new Workout functionality and Crash Detection optimizations. watchOS 9.3 can be downloaded for free through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by opening it up and going to General > Software Update. ...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Pro Mac Mini

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
The new M2-series MacBook Pro and Mac mini models launched today, marking the debut of the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. We have the M2 Pro Mac mini on hand, and thought we'd take a look at the machine and do a series of benchmarks to see how it fits into Apple's lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Base model Mac mini machines come with either an M2 or M2 Pro...
Ventura Macs Feature Blue

Apple Releases macOS Ventura 13.2

Monday January 23, 2023 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Ventura 13.2, the second major update to the macOS Ventura operating system initially released in October. macOS Ventura 13.2 comes more than a month after macOS Ventura 13.1, an update that added the Freeform app and other changes. The ‌macOS Ventura‌ 13.2 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...