iPad Cause of iPad Air Safari tab reload

priyamsingh

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Original poster
Sep 19, 2013
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I know this has probably been discussed a billion times, but can someone explain in simple terms what the cause of tabs reloading is? Is it the low ram or is it an ios/ios 7 software issue? I would give the ipad air 10/10 on everything except this really really annoying tab reload problem.

I tested opening literally like 20 tabs or something on my Android phone and not a single one reloaded when switching between them. I don't have an iphone but does the 5s have this issue too or is it just the ipad?

Will the next ipad have this problem too or will it be fixed?

Thanks
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
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My thoughts are, only Apple knows the truth, but they aren't talking, so the rest of us are just guessing. We could talk this over until the horse is dead and beaten to dust, but there will be no firm conclusion.

As for whether it'll be fixed in the next iPad, again, we won't know until the next one is released. There is also the possibility that iOS 8 wlll fix it for the current iPad. We'll just have to wait and see.
 
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Count Blah

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My thoughts are, only Apple knows the truth, but they aren't talking, so the rest of us are just guessing. We could talk this over until the horse is dead and beaten to dust, but there will be no firm conclusion.

As for whether it'll be fixed in the next iPad, again, we won't know until the next one is released. There is also the possibility that iOS 8 wlll fix it for the current iPad. We'll just have to wait and see.
Except for one item that no one disputes - more RAM would result in fewer tab reloads. The apple defenders would contend that "yea, but they would reload eventually". To which I would say - fine, I would settle for tab reloads on the 5th tab WAY more that reloads on the 2nd with no other apps open.
 
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priyamsingh

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Original poster
Sep 19, 2013
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Except for one item that no one disputes - more RAM would result in fewer tab reloads. The apple defenders would contend that "yea, but they would reload eventually". To which I would say - fine, I would settle for tab reloads on the 5th tab WAY more that reloads on the 2nd with no other apps open.
Does iphone 5s have the same issue or is it only an ipad issue? I only have an ipad air so I can't test multiple tabs on 5s.
 
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Charliebird

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2010
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This article explains it well: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/0...itasking-to-ipads-isnt-as-simple-as-it-seems/

Quote:
"At least on iPads with 1GB of RAM, hardware limitations might not be a huge roadblock. It's kind of interesting to hook an iPad up to Xcode, fire up the Activity monitor, and watch just how aggressive Apple's memory management is—the above screenshot is from a fourth-generation iPad running iOS 7.1.1. The biggest memory hog on any system is a browser with a bunch of tabs open, but iOS appears to limit the amount of active RAM that Safari can consume to just above 200MB (open more tabs and the virtual memory usage will continue to climb while active memory use stays about the same). Other applications are ejected from memory aggressively, and Springboard and other system services and background tasks only need a couple hundred megabytes of active memory altogether."
 
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s2mikey

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Sep 23, 2013
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Upstate, NY
This article explains it well: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/0...itasking-to-ipads-isnt-as-simple-as-it-seems/

Quote:
"At least on iPads with 1GB of RAM, hardware limitations might not be a huge roadblock. It's kind of interesting to hook an iPad up to Xcode, fire up the Activity monitor, and watch just how aggressive Apple's memory management is—the above screenshot is from a fourth-generation iPad running iOS 7.1.1. The biggest memory hog on any system is a browser with a bunch of tabs open, but iOS appears to limit the amount of active RAM that Safari can consume to just above 200MB (open more tabs and the virtual memory usage will continue to climb while active memory use stays about the same). Other applications are ejected from memory aggressively, and Springboard and other system services and background tasks only need a couple hundred megabytes of active memory altogether."
So they seem to feel that it is NOT hardware aka RAM then?

I'm still shocked that web browsing is so memory intensive. That's new to me. They really have to work on safari if they hope to rectify any reloading issues. Throwing RAM at it is nice but that's STILL just a band aid.
 
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rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
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This article explains it well: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/0...itasking-to-ipads-isnt-as-simple-as-it-seems/

Quote:
"At least on iPads with 1GB of RAM, hardware limitations might not be a huge roadblock. It's kind of interesting to hook an iPad up to Xcode, fire up the Activity monitor, and watch just how aggressive Apple's memory management is—the above screenshot is from a fourth-generation iPad running iOS 7.1.1. The biggest memory hog on any system is a browser with a bunch of tabs open, but iOS appears to limit the amount of active RAM that Safari can consume to just above 200MB (open more tabs and the virtual memory usage will continue to climb while active memory use stays about the same). Other applications are ejected from memory aggressively, and Springboard and other system services and background tasks only need a couple hundred megabytes of active memory altogether."
That's quite an interesting read. It looks like iOS does use paging for Safari after all. Hmm, might explain why the unavailable space varies depending on capacity. More likely than not, more space is allocated to virtual memory on bigger iPads than on smaller ones. Also explains why I barely get any tab reloads on my iPad 4 128GB compared to the iPad Air 16GB. If that's the case, when can we buy 256GB-1TB iPads? :p
 
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GalFriday

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May 18, 2014
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Is there a reason you had to start a new thread on this tired old topic instead of reading the dozen or so that already exist? Most of them are several pages long and full of info.
 
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Count Blah

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So they seem to feel that it is NOT hardware aka RAM then?

I'm still shocked that web browsing is so memory intensive. That's new to me. They really have to work on safari if they hope to rectify any reloading issues. Throwing RAM at it is nice but that's STILL just a band aid.
Only a strident defender like you would see that and say that ram has nothing to do with it. It's limited because there is such little ram on the system. Do you think safari would be limited to 200Megs if more ram existed on the system? Because 200megs if ram can't even support 2 tabs in many cases. But it's not a ram problem :rolleyes:

What good is a swimming pool if all you have is a hose the diameter of a juice box straw to fill it?
 
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rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,154
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Only a strident defender like you would see that and say that ram has nothing to do with it. It's limited because there is such little ram on the system. Do you think safari would be limited to 200Megs if more ram existed on the system? Because 200megs if ram can't even support 2 tabs in many cases. But it's not a ram problem :rolleyes:
Curious, what capacity iPad do you have? I've always thought RAM was the issue for the frequent Safari tab reloading on the iPad Air/iOS7 but from the screenshot on that arstechnica article, I'm inclined to think it's just not enough space for virtual memory. My theory that the lack of RAM is the issue was based on the assumption (and blog posts) saying that iOS doesn't have a paging system which the arstechnica article refutes. Assuming Safari works the same way as Firefox, Chrome and various other desktop browsers, as long as tabs/pages are stored in virtual memory, then you shouldn't experience any reloading.

Would more RAM help? Sure. However, it would certainly be interesting to note the effect of additional storage capacity, too. Just for reference, here's a list of available user storage and IDEMA capacity for the iPads I have access to.

iOS 6.1.3

iPad 4 16 GB
Capacity: 13.3 GB
IDEMA: 14.9 GB
Difference: 1.6 GB

iPad 3 64 GB
Capacity: 57.2 GB
IDEMA: 59.6 GB
Difference: 2.4 GB

iPad 4 128 G
Capacity: 115 GB
IDEMA: 119 GB
Difference: 4 GB


iOS 7.1.1

iPad Air 16 GB
Capacity: 12.7 GB
IDEMA: 14.9 GB
Difference: 2.2 GB
 
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Count Blah

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I'll dive into the Ars article when I get some some time. I would be shocked with actual paging in safari, because that would make the constant tab reload even MORE of a joke with paging, than it is if it were only using RAM.
 
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rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
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So they seem to feel that it is NOT hardware aka RAM then?

I'm still shocked that web browsing is so memory intensive. That's new to me. They really have to work on safari if they hope to rectify any reloading issues. Throwing RAM at it is nice but that's STILL just a band aid.
I don't think it can be fixed much. I've switched between IE, Firefox, Chrome and Opera and they all use oodles of RAM. I think the only browser I know that doesn't use tons of RAM is Lynx.
 
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Dmunjal

macrumors 65832
Jun 20, 2010
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That's quite an interesting read. It looks like iOS does use paging for Safari after all. Hmm, might explain why the unavailable space varies depending on capacity. More likely than not, more space is allocated to virtual memory on bigger iPads than on smaller ones. Also explains why I barely get any tab reloads on my iPad 4 128GB compared to the iPad Air 16GB. If that's the case, when can we buy 256GB-1TB iPads? :p
I don't think iOS uses virtual memory that way.

https://developer.apple.com/library...tual/managingmemory/articles/aboutmemory.html

"As memory gets full, sections of memory that are not being used are written to disk to make room for data that is needed now. The portion of the disk that stores the unused data is known as the backing store because it provides the backup storage for main memory.

Although OS X supports a backing store, iOS does not. In iPhone applications, read-only data that is already on the disk (such as code pages) is simply removed from memory and reloaded from disk as needed. Writable data is never removed from memory by the operating system. Instead, if the amount of free memory drops below a certain threshold, the system asks the running applications to free up memory voluntarily to make room for new data. Applications that fail to free up enough memory are terminated."
 
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JackieInCo

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Jul 18, 2013
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Only a strident defender like you would see that and say that ram has nothing to do with it. It's limited because there is such little ram on the system. Do you think safari would be limited to 200Megs if more ram existed on the system? Because 200megs if ram can't even support 2 tabs in many cases. But it's not a ram problem :rolleyes:

What good is a swimming pool if all you have is a hose the diameter of a juice box straw to fill it?
So this happens on the 5S with 2GB of ram. As I said previously in this thread, how much ram is needed to prevent this?
 
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s2mikey

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Sep 23, 2013
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Only a strident defender like you would see that and say that ram has nothing to do with it. It's limited because there is such little ram on the system. Do you think safari would be limited to 200Megs if more ram existed on the system? Because 200megs if ram can't even support 2 tabs in many cases. But it's not a ram problem :rolleyes:

What good is a swimming pool if all you have is a hose the diameter of a juice box straw to fill it?
I'm not a defender at all. They wrote the article and seemed to be leaning towards the software more than the hardware. I'm just not sold that this can't be fixed through better safari behavior. That's all.
 
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rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
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So this happens on the 5S with 2GB of ram. As I said previously in this thread, how much ram is needed to prevent this?
The 5S only has 1GB RAM same as the iPad Air. Given enough tabs and complex, graphics heavy web pages, this problem will never go away. However, more RAM and a higher per app (or at least Safari) RAM limit will go a long way to mitigate the issue.
 
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jlsm511

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Feb 26, 2008
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We'll probably never get a straight answer from Apple, but I think its most likely a hardware limitation (RAM), but even with more RAM it would still eventually happen, and software, in that iOS probably wants to refresh the page if its been sitting there for a few hours maybe?
 
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apolloa

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Oct 21, 2008
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
I don't think it's the RAM, more RAM helps but it isn't the cause of the TABS reloading because my Android tablet with 1GB RAM doesn't do it. I just think it's software optimisation that Apple will nail. I have also read on here some users stating they have used other browsers on an iPad without the reloading of tabs.
 
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s2mikey

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Sep 23, 2013
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I don't think it's the RAM, more RAM helps but it isn't the cause of the TABS reloading because my Android tablet with 1GB RAM doesn't do it. I just think it's software optimisation that Apple will nail. I have also read on here some users stating they have used other browsers on an iPad without the reloading of tabs.
Yes, it appears that using a different browser does alleviate this problem for many people. And, let's not forget that many of us simply don't have this problem at all. Sure, we may not have the sheer number of tabs open at the same time but it has something to do with which sites you hit too.

Apple has to do "something" though. Just not totally sold on the RAM thing and never have been?
 
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apolloa

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Oct 21, 2008
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Yes, it appears that using a different browser does alleviate this problem for many people. And, let's not forget that many of us simply don't have this problem at all. Sure, we may not have the sheer number of tabs open at the same time but it has something to do with which sites you hit too.

Apple has to do "something" though. Just not totally sold on the RAM thing and never have been?
Aren't websites special formatted for the iPads screen size too though? The website recognises its an iPad viewing it and it changes the formatting automatically, maybe it has something to do with that?
 
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