Since when was stuff like this allowed on the AppStore? Free Memory?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by TheSpaz, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    Check out this app called Free Memory. I don't understand how this 3rd party app has access to the iPhone's OS by quitting apps that are running. Why does this app have special abilities? I'm really confused.
  2. ichoco macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2009
    I dont understand too, but it shows battery percentage, and that's why I got it.:)
  3. return7 macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2008
    methinks it's a fake. [edited the stupid out!]
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    I know a great way to free up some memory. Don't launch crap like this.
  5. riciad macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    "Recession Apps" is the developer not the category.
  6. thevibesman macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Not sure about fake or not, but there are other apps that reference private APIs that have made it into the store (i.e. Battery Log). Google Code has some listings describing private APIs for network statistics as well.

    The way I understand it is technically this RAM app and the other topics I listed are all not allowed but made it in, but since they are probably using private APIs their functionality may be broken at some point with an update or could even be removed from the store if Apple decides they want to take it down.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, perhaps it isn't using a private API, but just allocating a LOT of memory to give the system the low memory warning to stop native background processes from using memory. Then again, maybe it is a scam and is just reallocating and freeing inactive memory? For 99¢ I'm tempted to play with this, but am not sure I want to give a developer money for an app that I am not sure does something or possibly uses private APIs to mess with the system is ways I don't want it too. I wonder how this could be tested--maybe later on I'll email the dev and see if they would be willing to let me in on their secret.
  7. jalpert macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    This program works. It tells you what's running, you click free memory, less stuff is running and you have more memory. For example, right now:

    Free memory: 3.32MB
    After clear: 20.87mb
    Close program
    Open safari
    Leave safari
    Free memory: 5.01MB
    Safari is still running
    After clear: 26.76
    Safari is no longer running in the background

    This app is closing down process left in memory by the phone to try and speed up the loading of subsequent accesses. It may take a little longer to load safari, but my apps (like crayon physics) don't have any more slowdown.
  8. yalag macrumors 65816

    Nov 18, 2007
    I've read some technical discussion about this on the dev mailing list. It's basically a scam. Memory are not freed at all, it's just a number change. Too bad everyone is getting tricked into it :(
  9. jalpert macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    I dunno, my programs run better. If this is a placebo effect, it's a pretty intense one :) Also, one more clue that it isn't BS is that it's listed as a utility, not as entertainment. I think it's real, but I guess I could be wrong.
  10. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    I decided to try it. It did actually do something because iPod skipped when I clicked Free Memory. I do know that the battery percentage is right, so it can't be all bad. Oh well. I don't think they should charge $.99 for it though.
  11. thevibesman macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Not that I know anything about the options for memory/process management on jailbroken phones, but some comparison with another app might mean something, but if we are debating if Free Memory does what it claims, I don't think the programs own UI is proof of anything. I don't think that the UI is just making stuff up, but my main concern is what exactly it is doing and how. I am sure it is at least using a private API to get the process list, so it may be using other private methods to quit processes versus some other technique like forcing them to quit by creating a low memory warning--this is what worries me more than if the application does anything at all or not.

    Not really, my apps are not submitted yet, but if I am not mistaken, you get to pick what category you list your application in.

    I don't doubt it does something, but what? It would be nice if it could tell us wired, active, inactive, and free so we could see if it is somehow juggling inactive/free or actually doing something that would make more of a difference (if it is indeed quitting processes I'm guessing it is, then the real concern is how it does it--private APIs we shouldn't be touching vs. low memory warnings--sorry for being redundant there).

    Which list are you referring to, I already tried to find something on the iPhone Developer Forums and I thought there was only a Safari-iPhone-Dev list on the Apple list page. Can you either point me in the right direction to do some more reading or share some more of that info with us. I'm tempted to download it and experiment with it. Chronicles of Inotia lets you know when it got a low memory warning and I can get that to happen consistently so I could test it that way. As I've said, my two concerns with doing that are giving the developer any more profit if it is indeed a scam that doesn't do anything actually helpful and if it does do something that it is doing things with private APIs that I'd rather my 3rd party software not to be touching.

    This seems like it has possibilities an interesting development tool to look at memory use in addition to using instruments, maybe it would be a nice thing for the developer community if the dev(s) of this software would let us know what is going on so we can know if it is indeed a useful tool.
  12. return7 macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2008
    you're right! silly me
  13. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    works... just like any other bit app

    Apple's apps can run in the background, but they will sometimes shut down if squeezed hard enough by the foreground app's memory and CPU usage.

    But almost any big app will work. Try one of the biggest free 3D games, one that takes a long time to launch, and it will do about the same thing.

  14. TechJunky macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2008
    Seems like it works to me, though im surprised apple allowed it.

    You can see what apps are running, close the app and open one of the running apps, then force quit it. When you check the list again, the app isn't running.
  15. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    There's nothing against showing what apps are running, but it can't quit apps. What this app does it just use up a big chunk of memory so that Apple's built in memory management kick in and forces some processes to shut down or restart. The same thing happens with games and stuff.
  16. TechJunky macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2008
    All this app has done was made me wise to how many apps don't close. WTH? Apple won't allow apps to run in the background but theirs do? Safari, Mail, and iPod all stay running everytime you open unless you force quit. How are you supposed to close an app?

    All of a sudden I feel like I'm back on Windows Mobile.:D
  17. Rayfire macrumors 68030


    Aug 25, 2008
    I guess you force quit every time by holding the Home button, which kinda sucks.

    I still don't get it that Apple approved this app, maybe it is just perfectly abiding the SDK :confused:
  18. TheZimm macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2008
    I emailed the dev and he said he didnt use private API's, just the ones in the SDK and that he cant say anymore. Although he did say you just need an understanding of the iphone's memory system...

  19. buccsmf1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2008
    if this works like it says it does it would be a fantastic app. after a day or so of messing around on my iphone the memory seems to clog up. if i try to play something memory intensive like sim city it always crashes. i basically have to restart my iphone every single time i want to play sim city, just to free up memory.

    I thought this was a common occurrence in OSX? My imac does the same thing. Suppose i open itunes, VLC, word, safari etc.... my RAM is maxed out and im left with like 10-15mb free out of 2gigs. Even when i close all the programs my ram never clears up... it still says i only have a few mbs free and the thing runs slow... it's not until i restart the thing that all the memory gets freed back up.
  20. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
  21. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    Yes, this is a very nice UI and it gives more useful information.
  22. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2008
    wow, yeah i cant wait for istat to come to iPhone. i will def pick that up. free memory is useful. If i feel its sluggish i just see whats causing it (usually safari) force quit it, and all is well.
  23. Watabou macrumors 68040


    Feb 10, 2008
    United States
    iStat looks awesome for the iPhone. What I'd really like is a program like coconutbattery that could monitor the iPhones battery charge cycles and health. I don't know if this violates the SDK though.

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