2GB vs 4GB RAM Splits the Pro developer community.

TheRealAlex

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Sep 2, 2015
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Now I have been saying for some time 2GB RAM on the 9.7 Pro will be fine for a while. Even more so that other devices with slower DDR3 RAM and much less bandwidth like the older iPads.

But it just hit me that developers who want to release Pro level software for the iPad Pro line must now limit themselves to the lowest common denominator which is just 2GB of RAM for a few reasons. Mainly install base the 9.7 version is just gonna sell more and may have already.

But more to the point the difference in RAM creates a rift among iPad Pro devices which may limit features and how software developers approach it.

My only consolation is that this was done deliberately by Apple to spur developers to fully utilize 2GB of RAM and develop a higher grade or better quality of app.
 
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AFEPPL

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Sep 30, 2014
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I dont see that as the case if I'm honest.

The screen size across the range is more important I would imagine to the developers.
RAM management is a function of the OS, in the same way as iPhone4s with 512GB vs the 2GB on the 6S hasn't limited apps coming out.
 
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macfacts

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Oct 7, 2012
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Some look for the negative side to everything. A little far fetched to accuse Apple of a conspiracy here.

The RAM thing is way over blown. My 9.7 is "limping" along quite well with 2GB or RAM but then I do not open 25 tabs at one time in Safari.
That is the point I think. You won't see any apps "limping" along because devs will only make pro apps that use upto 2GB ram (or whatever is available to apps on 2GB ram iOS devices).
 

Booloo

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Mar 18, 2012
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Before Apple required apps to run on older supported devices, now with iOS 9 I believe the devs can pick and choose what works on what. It's going to take many more future ipads until we see issues with 2gb. 4gb of ram being unused and not utilized on the 12.9"? Yeah, most likely.
 

Mascots

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Sep 5, 2009
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I am a developer. RAM isn't going to be too much of a stopgate for professional software's ability to act or function, not at these levels.

The good news is that the applications will be more maintained and up-to-par since they must handle their resources appropriately. Meaning less crappy software and the big Pro just gets a little juice.

Safari can do the same on both iPads. The big Pro can just have more tabs open.
 

Krevnik

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Sep 8, 2003
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As another developer I agree with Mascots, and will add something else: I cannot ignore the larger part of the market, and it is actually the many iPads out there prior to the Pro even being announced.

It is in my customer's benefit to control RAM usage so I don't get ejected from memory while using slide over or split view. It is in my customer's benefit to support as many devices as the OS version supports. It is in my customer's benefit to not judge their choice of device, and deem some unworthy of an app. My customers for the most part don't care why I support a device or not, just that I do or don't. Much like saying my software won't run on a MacBook Air because it isn't "Pro" isn't going to fly with my customers.
 

Rogifan

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Nov 14, 2011
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Have any tests been done that confirm certain applications perform better on the 12.9" iPad because it has more RAM?
 
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throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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Maybe the larger iPad will run exactly the same apps but just have more ram free for larger data sets without needing to page stuff out to flash, and also consume more memory for the larger display?

I don't think it will really have any developer impact what so ever. Most developers will still be writing to support the older iPads anyway.
 
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Beavix

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Dec 1, 2010
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As another developer I agree with Mascots, and will add something else: I cannot ignore the larger part of the market, and it is actually the many iPads out there prior to the Pro even being announced.
This is actually disappointing for me as an iPad Pro user. I'm sure most developers think that way, but I wish there were more pro apps designed for pro users using an iPad Pro.
 
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throAU

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This is actually disappointing for me as an iPad Pro user. I'm sure most developers think that way, but I wish there were more pro apps designed for pro users using an iPad Pro.
The only real things the pro has over a regular iPad is a stylus and a keyboard cover. The keyboard cover can be replaced with the onscreen keyboard and the stylus can be fudged on a regular iPad with your finger(s). Yes it won't be the same but i doubt it will stop any application from being able to run on a regular iPad, just better on a Pro.

Yes, more RAM, but that's just a nice to have, and likely not going to restrict applications from running. A developer can't really assume they have the full ram of the device to play with anyway, the user will maybe (and more likely on a pro device) have other applications running in the background.
 

AFEPPL

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I'm sure more would be disappointed if they didn't have that view...
Do you see the same calls/requests on the laptop devices? No. the additional memory doesn't buy you the exclusivity you so crave..
 

Beavix

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Dec 1, 2010
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I'm sure more would be disappointed if they didn't have that view...
Do you see the same calls/requests on the laptop devices? No. the additional memory doesn't buy you the exclusivity you so crave..
Remember we're talking about pro apps here. Most pro apps running on desktop devices have minimum and recommended hardware requirements. Photoshop for example won't even install with less than 2 GB of RAM and the recommended RAM is 8 GB. Of course nowadays there aren't computers with less than 2 GB of RAM, but that's because nobody makes crippled "for content consumption only" computers.

I'm sure you have to draw the line somewhere if you want to make a powerful pro app using lots of resources. Selling it to everybody starting with the iPad 2 users won't work.
 

Count Blah

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Jan 6, 2004
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Have any tests been done that confirm certain applications perform better on the 12.9" iPad because it has more RAM?
Apparently there are some graphics programs that allow more layers with 4gigs of RAM, compared to the 2.

First of many, I'm sure. And will be more evident with "pro" apps over time. But then again, as we've seen with the 13" MacBook "Pro", the word Pro is generously used by Apple. So our interpretations of what a "Pro" machine is/should be, is often wildly different than the Marketing department at Apple.
 

joeblow7777

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Sep 7, 2010
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Now I have been saying for some time 2GB RAM on the 9.7 Pro will be fine for a while. Even more so that other devices with slower DDR3 RAM and much less bandwidth like the older iPads.

But it just hit me that developers who want to release Pro level software for the iPad Pro line must now limit themselves to the lowest common denominator which is just 2GB of RAM for a few reasons. Mainly install base the 9.7 version is just gonna sell more and may have already.

But more to the point the difference in RAM creates a rift among iPad Pro devices which may limit features and how software developers approach it.

My only consolation is that this was done deliberately by Apple to spur developers to fully utilize 2GB of RAM and develop a higher grade or better quality of app.
First world problems.
 
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throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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Apparently there are some graphics programs that allow more layers with 4gigs of RAM, compared to the 2.

First of many, I'm sure. And will be more evident with "pro" apps over time. But then again, as we've seen with the 13" MacBook "Pro", the word Pro is generously used by Apple. So our interpretations of what a "Pro" machine is/should be, is often wildly different than the Marketing department at Apple.
The 13" is a probably considered a pro machine because it actually has a display with half decent, fairly accurate colour, IPS (thus decent viewing angles without colour distortion), high resolution and more thunderbolt ports.

Pro does not mean "must have a discrete GPU", seems some people just feel that has to be a thing.
 

gobikerider

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The 13" is a probably considered a pro machine because it actually has a display with half decent, fairly accurate colour, IPS (thus decent viewing angles without colour distortion), high resolution and more thunderbolt ports.

Pro does not mean "must have a discrete GPU", seems some people just feel that has to be a thing.
Exactly in fact Apple has done essentially the same thing with the Pro line of iPads as they do with the MacBook Pro. 13 inch has 8gb to start, and they bigger 15, inch has 16gb to start. The iPad's do the same thing the bigger model has double the ram. But like the Mac it doesn't really affect anything the apps still work fine and a lot of the Pro apps can do the same special things on both Pro models of iPads. And most people are not going to mind because well it's so fast anyways. The way iOS is currently 2gb ram is not a bottle neck and won't be for at least 2 more years since Apple is unlikely to go put 4gb of ram into the iPhone anytime soon.
 

jamesrick80

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Sep 12, 2014
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Actually, since Apple will be sticking with the lowest denominator which is 2 GB of ram. This gives the larger iPad Pro a definite advantage. It will be able to handle apps that max out with higher ram usages better than the smaller pro.

We already see how fast apps respond now and the crazy high amount of tabs that can be open on the larger iPad Pro due to the 4 GB of ram. 12.9 owners are definitely future proof for the next 3 years.
 
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gobikerider

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Actually, since Apple will be sticking with the lowest denominator which is 2 GB of ram. This gives the larger iPad Pro a definite advantage. It will be able to handle apps that max out with higher ram usages better than the smaller pro.

We already see how fast apps respond now and the crazy high amount of tabs that can be open on the larger iPad Pro due to the 4 GB of ram. 12.9 owners are definitely future proof for the next 3 years.
Technically the lowest common denominator of ram is 512mb and in a year when iOS 10 drops support for A5 devices it'll go to 1gb for at least 2 more years because even if iOS 11 drops support for A6 the A7 devices still have 1 gb of ram and they will be supported to at least iOS 12 then 2gb will become lowest common denominator in like iOS 13.
 
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