iOS memory management.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Tumbleweed666, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    At work, I have the choice of an iPhone 4 (8GB) or HTC One V* though for purposes of this discussion that doesn't matter too much unless you know someone who has one.

    My question is regards memory management. I currently have another Android phone which is kind of sucky, especially in regards to one particular aspect, memory management.

    In Android (just like iPhone), you have RAM and you have storage. One big Android failing which I'm hoping doesn't extend to iPhone and by itself may be enough to get me to switch, is that in Android, some apps can only be installed into RAM.

    Most especially these are large memory sucking Google apps such as Maps. To add insult to injury, whilst its possible in general to move apps to storage memory, freeing up RAM, some (and usually its the Google ones :mad: ) insist on staying in RAM and cant be moved, which means you end up continually playing around with what app is where, to get enough free space, otherwise the whole phone starts playing up, email wont refresh, it hangs, and so on. There are apps I just cannot install on my phone, I have plenty of memory, just not enough RAM to install them in (not run, install). Its like being in DOS with 640k !

    Now it may be this sucky behaviour doesn't apply to Android 4+ (current phone is on 2.2, new one will be 4+) but in any case, is iOS designed better than this?

    * or a Blackberry but that IMO doesn't count as a valid choice :D
  2. macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    iOS memory management is very godo when compared to other mobile operating systems. It preserves the last used ones if they are quickly used again, but will kill them if more ram is needed. Because of this functionality, people often complain that iOS' memory management is poor. Yet they don't realize this is by design and that it is a good design. Remember, iOS is a UNIX based operating system and with most UNIX based operating systems, free ram is wasted ram.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    116th & Broadway
    Unless you have an intensive game in the background, you don't need to worry about memory. It's similar to OS X in that RAM usage appears to be extremely high, but is actually dynamically adjusting apps and usage based on what the user is doing.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2012
    You have the terminology mixed up a bit. If you installed a program to RAM, it would disappear everytime you turned off your phone :p

    I know what you're trying to say though, you aren't referring to RAM, but to internal storage. Does iOS have this problem? Not really. The iPhone 4S's lowest internal memory configuration right now is 16 gigs, which can take some time to fill up. Once filled up, however, like any system, you may experience sluggishness until you free up some space.

    In short, all computers, including Windows, OSX, and Linux, freak out like this when the primary drive has no free space left. Due to how iOS is made, however, it should take longer to get to this stage, if it ever happens at all.
  5. macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Following on from the post above, iOS can't have this problem because iOS devices only have internal storage (albeit 8GB+).

    "Memory Management" is an entirely different matter, and I don't see any reason why Android would do it worse than iOS - that's a basic computing problem that was "solved" years ago, with most modern Operating Systems (i.e. Windows Vista onwards, Mac OS X, Linux/Unix, Android, iOS etc.) all handling it very similarly.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2011
    I wouldn't know about Android, but unlike Mac OS, iOS doesn't write virtual memory to storage. So, filling it up shouldn't cause the phone to become slow or sluggish.
  7. macrumors 604


    Jan 8, 2012
    Your terminology is incorrect. The way RAM is utilized between iOS and Android is very similar. When you see apps in RAM when looking at settings in Android its not installed there its just using RAM. As other apps need RAM the old apps will get closed for the new ones.

    Maps is doing its thing. If need be it will move to "cached processes" to free up RAM.


    I've found iOS to do a better job retaining the old apps in a suspended state then Android. This isn't really much to do with RAM just how the OS's work.
  8. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    OK so my bad (partially), I was using the words wrongly but the outcome was the same, have done some more research, Android prior to ICS (4.0) partitioned memory, so you couldn't use all the native memory of the phone, (and typically Google apps were the worst behaved in insisting on sticking to the "app" partition"). This is what I was suffering from. It seems however that at 4.0 and above this restriction has gone.

    No matter I've decided to go with the iPhone anyway :D
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2010
    Unfortunately this issue is still present in Android 4.0.
    The Nexus does have a single partition like the iPhone, which is great.

    However, the two biggest Android phones right now, the HTC One X and the Galaxy S3, still have a small partition for apps and a slightly bigger one for the virtual SD card.

    I had the HTC, and the app storage was about 2GB. It is a lot of space, but I would rather get a single partition like on the Nexus and iPhone.
  10. macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    This is not how iPhones and iOS work at all. The only correct part is the iPhone 4s comes in 16GB.

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