Why does the iPhone want a lot much less RAM than Android units?

When evaluating an iPhone to different Android powered flagship telephones, one factor that tends to face out, is the numerous distinction within the RAM storage of the units. Because of this, most individuals conclude that iPhone wants much less RAM or that Android apps hog space for storing. However does Android actually use extra RAM than iOS ?


The very first thing we have to set up right here, is that we’re not speaking about space for storing. Inner space for storing of units is many a instances clubbed along with RAM storage when the specs are listed. What we’re speaking about is Random Entry Reminiscence (RAM), the reminiscence utilized by the CPU to carry and execute apps. Beneath is a comparability between the flagship units of firms over the previous few years.

12 monthsiPhoneSamsungLGDifferent
2016iPhone 7: 2GB
iPhone 7 Plus: 3GB
S7 & S7 Edge: 4GBG5: 4GB
V20: 4GB
Pixel & Pixel XL: 4GB
2015iPhone 6S: 2GB
iPhone 6S Plus: 2GB
S6 & S6 Edge: 3GB
S6 Edge+: 4GB
G4: 3GB
V10: 4GB
Nexus 5X: 2GB
Nexus 6P: 3GB
2014iPhone 6: 1GB
iPhone 6 Plus: 1GB
S5: 2GBG3: 2GB (16 GB mannequin)
G3: 3GB (32 GB mannequin)
Nexus 6: 3GB
2013iPhone 5S: 1GBS4: 2GBG2: 2GBNexus 5: 2GB


As you may see, iPhone constantly have decrease RAM storage than Android units with the one exception being the Nexus 5X. The favored opinion concerning this, is that iOS can provide the identical if not higher person expertise by utilizing lesser quantity of RAM and that is inherently precipitated resulting from Android use of Java’s Rubbish Assortment Mechanism. This view might be mirrored as the most well-liked opinion on the web. However the extra deeper you look into the issue, the extra this opinion begins sounding like a delusion.

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Resident Set Measurement

To check the speculation that apps on Android use extra reminiscence than those on iOS, we determined to match reminiscence utilization throughout the units. Earlier than we share the outcomes, allow us to share the pondering behind the outcomes. When an app must carry out a operate equivalent to loading a picture, it’s going to request for reminiscence. Say the app asks for 1 MB of reminiscence to load the picture. At this level of time, the app’s digital dimension will enhance, however the system won’t allocate reminiscence to it simply but. The precise bodily RAM allocating will happen when the app begins loading the picture by studying it from storage after which writing it onto the RAM. Thus if solely half an MB is used, the precise bodily reminiscence utilized by the app might be lesser than its digital dimension.

This bodily reminiscence utilized by the app is termed because the Resident Set Measurement or RSS and is the most effective indicator of how a lot bodily reminiscence an app might want to run. Researchers have used various instruments to establish the RSS wanted for varied apps on each iOS and Android. To check the declare, the identical variety of apps have been put in on an iOS and an Android system and their RSS was decided. In every case the app was really getting used. Beneath are the outcomes:

As you may see, it’s a little bit of a combined bag. The Crossy Street app on Android makes use of 383MB of reminiscence, whereas on iOS it makes use of 308MB. However conversely Temple Run 2 makes use of 211MB on Android and 364MB on iOS. General the pattern is that Android apps use barely extra reminiscence, round 6% greater than iOS apps. Nonetheless iOS apps aren’t half the dimensions of Android apps. Its truthful to say due to this fact, that the declare of Android apps being a reminiscence hog doesn’t maintain water. The precise motive trigger due to this fact, is one thing else totally.

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Background and Foreground

The distinction within the storage wants stems from the way in which the 2 OSes management background processes. Every of them follows a special strategy and therefore produce completely different outcomes. iOS handles transferring of an app into the background in three alternative ways:

  • An app can request time to finish a process that had begun when it was within the foreground earlier than being pushed into the background.
  • Apps which have begun a obtain course of, can cross on these course of to the system and due to this fact might be suspended or terminated whereas the obtain progresses unabated.
  • Apps that must run within the background to help a selected process can declare their help for a number of background execution modes.

You possibly can take a look at this your self. In the event you personal an iPhone, open Safari and hit a URL. Whereas the URL is loading, perform an motion on the display screen that causes the display screen to render a change. You’ll discover that the web page load has been paused whereas the display screen is being rendered. Android nonetheless, approaches background apps with a special methodology.

Android retains all apps alive on the RAM if there may be enough RAM to help it. For Android, empty RAM is wasted RAM. This reduces battery utilization because the apps are solely initialized as soon as after which stay alive on the RAM. Except these apps have a background course of, they don’t use any battery whereas being stored alive. In the event you system runs out of RAM, then the system will kill off lesser used processes to permit its customers to run the apps with out worrying.

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This distinction in strategy makes plenty of distinction. The restrictions that iOS places on its apps ensures higher RAM administration whereas on the similar time preserving the person interface chugging alongside with none noticeable lag. Android however permits its apps to take pleasure in a better diploma of freedom thus permitting them to maintain working within the background though its not getting used and this lets a person to get again to an app in its working state with any working duties unhindered.

On the flip facet of this strategy, whereas iOS customers would possibly discover their apps being in a frozen state once they get again to it, they get to take pleasure in having their system by no means affected by a visual lag whereas Android substitutes this by permitting extra processing to be carried out and thus has a better requirement of RAM.

Supply: Quora