Why Apple Remains Faithful to 1GB of RAM
Competition in the smartphone market is high; each day a new phone with better specs and pricing outshines the other. We are lured by faster processors, sharper displays, better cameras, and increased battery life. Amidst all this, the Apple iPhone has survived and remains to be the first choice for millions. We have nothing to complain about when it comes to the iPhone, but why do we still see 1GB RAM on the latest version of the phone? Other flagship phones by Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Asus, Oppo have 2GB or even 4GB RAM.
[pullquote_left] 1GB RAM on the iPhone outperforms many Android devices with 2GB RAM or even more.[/pullquote_left]
The RAM on the phone is not optional like a storage capacity, that does not impact a phone’s performance. In fact, RAM is a vital component in a phone which directly impacts a phone’s functionality and performance. To understand why Apple is obstinate when it comes to upgrading RAM on the iPhone, we need to understand what is RAM first.
In simpler terms, RAM (Random-Access Memory) can help you carry out many tasks at one time. Let’s say you open an app ‘A’ and then decide to move on to some other functionality or app ‘B’ in the phone and subsequently you have ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’ apps open. Till the time you don’t switch off your phone or close each one of the apps, these apps will be running in the background ready for you to be picked again. This way your phone does not have to go through the process of opening an app again, avoiding the starting up of an app which takes up resources. So the larger amount of RAM you have, the more number of apps, programs and functions it can keep ready for you. Hence, ‘Random’ ‘Access’ ‘Memory’.
So doesn’t it make us wonder that the iPhone should be a poor performer when it comes to multitasking? The answer is no, 1GB RAM on the iPhone outperforms many Android devices with 2GB RAM or even more. Apple iPhone’s RAM works in a different way as compared to Android phones. The purpose of having a RAM remains the same, however the method its used is slightly different.
Glyn Williams, an iOS developer explains on Quora how the iPhone performs better than many other smartphones with a higher RAM number.
Android uses Java and needs additional RAM for ‘Garbage Collection’. A Garbage Collection is basically a process that recycles memory once an Android app is closed. And to do this recycling job it requires almost four to eight times the memory you are actually using to get this job done quickly. So if there is enough memory (RAM), the device will work faster, but if multiple apps are running simultaneously, the process slows down and eventually the device performs slower.
To put it in simpler words, you need four to eight times more memory than you are actually using for your device to perform faster and efficiently. This is the reason why Android devices perform better with more RAM. Whereas the operating system on the iPhone doesn’t need all the extra memory associated with Java and Android. Apple designed the iOS in a way to avoid this sort of garbage collection from scratch and only needs the memory it’s using. Hence it performs faster and efficiently than many Android devices running 2GB RAM or more.
Adding extra RAM isn’t going to cause any harm and we don’t seem to understand why Apple doesn’t upgrade the iPhone with bigger RAM. It is understood that the iPhone with its uniquely different way of functioning with RAM can pull off any task the phone is assigned to but consider some points. Firstly, the way we use smartphones is changing rapidly, everyday there is a launch of a new more complex resource intensive app. Secondly there is always an iOS update for the iPhone with new improvements which also eats up resources on the phone. Now, a year for a revision of the iPhone may seem enough for Apple to launch its new product but it shouldn’t be inconsiderate towards its users using the previous versions of the phone. If you are wondering how then pay heed to the complaints of the iPhone 4s, 5 and 5s users experiencing slow performance on their device after the latest iOS update. This would have been avoided had Apple facilitated a bigger RAM on these versions of the iPhone. Like we said earlier adding an extra bit of RAM wouldn’t have done any harm.
There are rumours that the new smartphone by Apple which may be called the iPhone 6s will be equipped with 2GB RAM which is double of what we saw on the iPhone 6. If these rumours are to be believed, then Apple has taken a great step forward to make the iPhone even better.
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