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Even with as much as 16GB of RAM on iPad Pro (2021), Apple limits app developers to 5GB of memory

The M1 chipset is the most powerful chip that Apple has ever employed on a Mac or iPad Pro to date. Last month, TSMC reportedly started mass production of the M2 chip. The real issue that we want to discuss is the fact that Apple has limited developers writing apps for iPadOS to 5GB of memory even though the iPad Pro (2021) can handle apps that use much more RAM.

Apple severely limits the capabilities of developers to build better apps for iPadOS

The 128GB and 256GB versions of the iPad Pro (2021) carry 8GB of RAM while the 1TB and 2TB variants are equipped with 16GB of RAM. In other words, Apple is severely curtailing the ability of developers to take advantage of the additional memory available on its top-of-the-line tablet. This was discussed by the developer who created graphic and design app Artstudio Pro who said on the Procreate Forum (via MacRumors) that any attempt to use more than 5GB of memory will cause an app to crash.

The developer noted that “There is a big problem with ‌M1‌ iPad Pro‌. After making stress test and other tests on new ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ with 16GB of RAM, it turned out that app can use ONLY 5GB of RAM! If we allocate more, app crashes. It is only 0.5GB more than in old iPads with 6GB of RAM! I suppose it isn’t better on ‌iPad‌ with 8GB.”

The 5GB limit on the amount of memory that an iPadOS app can employ won’t impact the enhanced multitasking possible with the 16GB of RAM found on the 1TB and 2TB variants of the iPad Pro (2021). With 16GB of memory on the slate, users will be able to keep a larger number of apps open in the background at one time. And even if an iPadOS app cannot use more than 5GB of RAM, the iPad Pro (2021) itself can access all of the M1’s aggregate memory.

The previous peak amount of memory available on an iPad was the 6GB of RAM that the iPad Pro (2020) featured no matter which storage configuration was chosen by a consumer. Owners of an iPad model compatible with the upcoming iPadOS 15 update are looking forward to what is being called the biggest redesign to the tablet’s homescreen since the first Wi-Fi iPad was released on April 3rd, 2010. The first Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad was launched 27 days later.
Besides the use of the M1 chip, for the first time on any Apple device the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) sports a mini-LED display delivering much improved contrast and image quality. Both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch Wi-Fi + Cellular variants support 5G. And the new ultra-wide front-facing camera comes with Center Stage, a feature that keeps users perfectly framed during video calls.

Apple could see more growth in iPad shipments this year

The iPad Pro (2021) also has a Thunderbolt port which is a step up compared to the USB-C port found on the 2020 models. Apple says that the Thunderbolt port quadruples data transfer speed compared to USB-C and the idea is to give the iPad Pro (2021) as much computer-like capabilities as possible. The Thunderbolt ports can help connect the iPad Pro (2021) to the kind of powerful and useful peripherals that makes the slate a very close relative to the computer.

The 11-inch iPad Pro (2021) starts at $799 and is equipped with an LCD screen. The 12.9-inch model comes with the aforementioned mini-LED display and pricing for this version begins at $1,099. Apple saw demand for its tablets jump last year thanks to the pandemic as businessmen and school-age children used the device to work from home.

At the end of the day, iPad owners were able to unwind at home by using their tablets to play games and stream video content. Led by the M1 powered iPad Pro (2021), Apple could see continued growth in tablet shipments this year.


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