iPad Safari-tab hounds, rejoice!

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 29, 2008
9,129
2,602
Seattle
"SPEED SECRETS
The weirdest fact about the iPad Air 2 is that Apple isn’t publicizing (or even acknowledging) one of its best new features. The tablet now has 2GB of RAM, up from the rather cramped 1GB allotment in the original iPad Air. (Some competitors, like the Galaxy Tab 10.1, have even more.)

Doubling the RAM means that the iPad can keep more apps and browser tabs in memory without having to reload anything. That results in a speed boost which which is very apparent as you hop between apps and load new web pages.

As an informal test, I tried loading FastCompany.com in multiple Safari tabs, stopping only when the browser ran out of RAM and had to reload pages from the Net as I switched tabs. On an iPad Air, I was only able to open five tabs before Safari choked. On the iPad Air 2, I was able to open a dozen of them before the browser felt less than snappy."

http://www.fastcompany.com/3037335/ipad-air-2-ipad-mini-3-review
 

Lucifer666

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2014
961
337
Are there non-jailbrocken apps to control memory?

I'd like to be able to control this, instead of closing everything.

note: I'm kind of a novice.
 

vgamedude

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2013
798
6
Now all the idiots saying it's software can shut up finally I hope.

Who am I kidding those blind sheep will still scream it from the rooftops so they can feel like apple didn't gyp them with 1gb on their iphones.

Still think they should've added more than 2gb though. The 64 bit chip allows for 4gb + and apple could have been the first people to put such an amount in a phone or a tablet (excluding stuff like the surface), but they didnt.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,393
1,091
Sunny Florida
Now all the idiots saying it's software can shut up finally I hope.

Who am I kidding those blind sheep will still scream it from the rooftops so they can feel like apple didn't gyp them with 1gb on their iphones.

Still think they should've added more than 2gb though. The 64 bit chip allows for 4gb + and apple could have been the first people to put such an amount in a phone or a tablet (excluding stuff like the surface), but they didnt.

I guess you've never bothered to actually try another browser?
 

vgamedude

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2013
798
6
I guess you've never bothered to actually try another browser?

I don't even own an ipad air anymore. Unless there is a browser that caches tabs to NAND there isn't a point, it will do the same thing, and I doubt apple lets app developers do that. My 4S has this problem but it's even worse thanks to the paltry 512 mb of RAM.

Even then using anything but safari on an iDevice is a subpar experience. You can't change default apps still. At least they gave all browsers Java Nitro in iOS 8 though.
 

s2mikey

Suspended
Sep 23, 2013
2,485
4,246
Upstate, NY
Yes! Now we can finally rest easy since it possible to have fifty tabs opened at once for those that....well.... Somehow benefit from having fifty tabs opened at once.

Excellent!
 

barjam

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2010
385
185
Yes! Now we can finally rest easy since it possible to have fifty tabs opened at once for those that....well.... Somehow benefit from having fifty tabs opened at once.

Excellent!

I would be thrilled if it could just keep 2-3 open without reloading when switching between apps.
 

blackNBUK

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2010
569
7
UK
I don't even own an ipad air anymore. Unless there is a browser that caches tabs to NAND there isn't a point, it will do the same thing, and I doubt apple lets app developers do that. My 4S has this problem but it's even worse thanks to the paltry 512 mb of RAM.

Even then using anything but safari on an iDevice is a subpar experience. You can't change default apps still. At least they gave all browsers Java Nitro in iOS 8 though.

I tried an experiment with Atomic Browser once on my iPad Air and it did a lot better than Safari. I managed to get up to 10 or 12 typical tabs in memory before the app crashed. When I restarted the app it had to reload everything from scratch, so based on that (and the wording of the settings) I'm pretty sure that Atomic doesn't cache whole pages to NAND.

Web pages take a lot of memory, but they haven't (yet) got so chunky that only 3 or 4 can fit in a gigabyte of memory. To give a ballpark figure the Chrome task manager on OSX reports memory usage of between roughly 50MB and 150MB per tab.

My theory is that iOS and Safari aggressively favour allocating memory to apps over web pages and will generally unload web pages before forcing an app to quit. That would explain why people report being able to load many more pages after a fresh reboot than after their iPad has been running for a while.

Finally, please don't think this is a recommendation of Atomic Browser as it seems pretty much abandoned. I don't think it has been updated for iOS7 yet, let alone iOS8.
 

adamthomasjones

macrumors newbie
Oct 22, 2014
23
0
I can tell you from using Safari on the Air 2 today that the difference is noticeable. Absolutely no lag at all with 6+ tabs open. Obviously only my limited experience (2 hours since I got the device) but a huge step up from the iPad Mini Retina from last year.
 

vgamedude

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2013
798
6
I tried an experiment with Atomic Browser once on my iPad Air and it did a lot better than Safari. I managed to get up to 10 or 12 typical tabs in memory before the app crashed. When I restarted the app it had to reload everything from scratch, so based on that (and the wording of the settings) I'm pretty sure that Atomic doesn't cache whole pages to NAND.

Web pages take a lot of memory, but they haven't (yet) got so chunky that only 3 or 4 can fit in a gigabyte of memory. To give a ballpark figure the Chrome task manager on OSX reports memory usage of between roughly 50MB and 150MB per tab.

My theory is that iOS and Safari aggressively favour allocating memory to apps over web pages and will generally unload web pages before forcing an app to quit. That would explain why people report being able to load many more pages after a fresh reboot than after their iPad has been running for a while.

Finally, please don't think this is a recommendation of Atomic Browser as it seems pretty much abandoned. I don't think it has been updated for iOS7 yet, let alone iOS8.

One thing you must take into consideration is that most of your RAM is being taken up by the OS, a booted iphone 6 I tried, with no apps in open, had 742 mb of its memory being used.
 

nikusak

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2014
176
309
I tried an experiment with Atomic Browser once on my iPad Air and it did a lot better than Safari.

Atomic hasn't been updated for years. It still uses some very old iOS web view component which is a lot slower *and* consumes less memory. That's why it works better in that regard.

So, it would be possible to have slightly better web experience if Safari was optimised purely for memory efficiency, but it clearly isn't and 1GB only gets so you so far.

Safari seems to be optimised for performance instead and optimising for performance tends to increase, not decrease, the memory consumption when you are dealing with stuff like XML/XHTML parsing and programming language (i.e. JavaScript) interpreters and/or virtual machines.

So, 2GB of RAM is really, really good news.

Surely you can get reloads even with 2GB since RAM is still a finite resource. For example, if you open Safari and some tabs, and then launch a few heavy games in succession and finally go back to Safari, but that's *not* the point of this tab reload discussion. Of course Safari gets thrown out of memory in that case and since iOS does not page to "disk", everything will be reloaded.

Previously, you could barely switch between couple of tabs inside Safari (without exiting it) without reloads. This latter problem should now be largely gone.

ps. unlike some people seem to falsely think, 2GB of RAM does *not* decrease battery life, for practical purposes anyway. The display, CPU, GPU and the various wireless radios use 99% (or so) of the power. Whether the device has 1GB or 2GB of RAM is utterly irrelevant in terms of power consumption. Just check the spec sheets for those RAM chips.

Actually, having more RAM will probably *increase* the battery life since more apps can be suspended in memory. This means there is less need for full app restarts (which eat CPU cycles and use power) when the user jumps back to some previously used app.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,393
1,091
Sunny Florida
iCab is being updated and works a heck of so lot better than Safari, letting you configure tab reloading behavior to suit your tastes.
 
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