iPadOS 16 lets apps use storage as virtual RAM on M1 iPads


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

With iPadOS 15, some 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 Swapping, Apple is dramatically 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 256 GB of storage also support this feature.

Virtual memory swapping and higher memory cap join a list of features that come 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 a whole new way for business users to use their iPad, allowing users to have multiple windows of an application open at once, layered 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 scheduled for July. ‌iPadOS 16‌ will be available on 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.

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