iPhones use less RAM than Android devices. Because?

Deepak Gupta August 6, 2022
Updated 2022/08/06 at 8:28 PM

You’ve probably noticed that iOS devices often have half the amount of RAM as Android devices. But have you ever wondered what the reason is? Will iPhones be underpowered? Or will there be other reasons? There are in fact other reasons and this clearly explains this difference in the amount of RAM in the high end devices between iOS and Android devices.

Find out today why iPhones use less RAM than Androids.

The war between iOS and Android is still raging today. Obviously, there are valid reasons to fall from both sides of the fencebut that doesn't stop people from endlessly comparing the two to see which one is best for their needs.

You may have noticed that Android smartphones come with a higher RAM capacity. Even if you don't need much on your smartphone for everyday use, the market is full of smartphones with 8 or even 12GB of RAM. On the other hand, Apple manages "underneath" the RAM capacity of its iPhones.

Why Android Devices Need So Much RAM

RAM memory is one of the specifications that most attract Android users, they always demand more from their smartphones. From the beginning, Android was designed to support many types of processors, manufacturers, and hardware configurations.

Roughly speaking, software developed for one type of system cannot simply run on another, there are intermediate steps necessary for software to run on several systems. However, to circumvent certain language and technology limitations, Android applications have always run on Java. This one is elegant because of its virtual machine: you can develop a Java application once, and then the virtual machine translates that code at runtime to make it work. on whatever system you are on..

But this comes at a cost. The Java virtual machine is complex and requires a lot of RAM, not only to manage the actual processes of the virtual machine itself, but also to maintain the original Java code for whatever application is running, plus the translated code that is executed by the system. .

Fortunately, the virtual machine on Android has improved over the years and doesn't require as much RAM as it once did. On the other hand, Android applications are becoming more and more advanced and powerful and therefore need more RAM to work. RAM is also needed for background processes, which are common in Android applications.

Finally, the Android operating system is built around a method called "garbage collection". Applications are encouraged to use as much RAM as they need. Then, every now and then, Android clears the data in RAM that is no longer being used.

And iPhones, how much RAM do they have?

Like Android smartphones, iPhones need RAM to manage the operation of various processes and applications. But iOS doesn't need as much RAM as Android. As we mentioned earlier, most major Android smartphones come with more than 6GB of RAM, and some even have 8 or 12GB.

But how much RAM do iPhones have?

We leave a table with all the models so you can compare from the original iPhone to the latest one, as of today. This information is also useful to see the evolution of the need for RAM over more than a decade.

Of course, the first iPhone was 128MB and 15 years later, the most powerful iPhone needs 6GB.

iPhone RAM: Memory Specifications for Every iPhone

  • iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max: 6GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone 13 and 13 mini: 4GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone SE 3rd generation: 4GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max: 6GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone 12 and 12 mini: 4GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone SE 2nd generation: 3GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max: 4GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone 11: 4GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone XR: 3GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone XS and XS Max: 4GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone X: 3GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone 8 Plus: 3GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone 8: 2GB (LPDDR4X)
  • iPhone 7 Plus: 3GB (LPDDR4)
  • iPhone 7: 2GB (LPDDR4)
  • iPhone SE: 2GB (LPDDR4)
  • iPhone 6S and 6S Plus: 2GB (LPDDR4)
  • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: 1 GB (LPDDR3)
  • iPhone 5S: 1 GB (LPDDR3)
  • iPhone 5C: 1 GB (LPDDR2)
  • iPhone 5: 1 GB (LPDDR2)
  • iPhone 4S: 512 MB (LPDDR2)
  • iPhone 4: 512 MB (LPDDR)
  • iPhone 3GS: 256 MB (LPDDR)
  • iPhone 3G: 128 MB (LPDDR)
  • Original iPhone: 128 MB (LPDDR)

It is well known that for Apple RAM is not a flag attribute. AND never specifies the amount of RAM on iPhones. But in general, the larger or "Pro" versions of iPhones come with more RAM. For example, the iPhone 13 comes with 4GB of RAM, while the Pro models offer 6GB of RAM.

An important asset in this management is dominating the entire ecosystem. Therefore, as Apple designs, orders custom manufacture and programs for those specific devices, they manage to be much more optimized than any other competitor.

This reality has led the world to look at Apple as a company that manages its ecosystem with a clenched fist. Some call it "lack of freedom" and others say it's just "performance quality".

This tight management, however, brings many benefits. First, and where you can see it right away, it's in that, in the consumption of resources and RAM compared to other smartphones.

To know:

1. Hardware Optimizations

Apple iOS is built just for your hardware and is thoroughly tested by Apple. It has another benefit that Android smartphones often lack, namely, your shared hardware platform. This eliminates the need for Apple to develop robust and flexible system code for other types of hardware. We see this, for example, on iOS and iPadOS. We increasingly see greater integration between macOS itself and iPadOS.

As such, programmers can customize the code according to the hardware specifications of the product in question. On the contrary, Android needs to support several types of processors. There is a lot of hardware and all different in format and quality. A simple example is the operating system itself. There are menus that on Android Samsung are presented in one way, but on Android Xiaomi or OPPO it is completely different. And it's not even about the "covers", the customized interfaces for each brand that produces smartphones with Google's operating system.

2. Stable RAM management

Apple uses a variety of practices to ensure better RAM management on iPhones. For example, on an iPhone, the system does not finish a task after a short delay. But on Android smartphones, the default interval to finish a certain task is shorter by default.

This practice ends up creating system instability and greater RAM consumption - if you open any application again, the system will not be able to open it from RAM.

Also, another thing that adds value on Apple's part is its task prioritization behavior. This means that iOS carefully prioritizes different tasks based on their severity. For example, the UI on iOS devices is given real-time priority, but this is not the case on Android devices.

Android assigns a normal priority to the UI, and the background process has a higher priority instead. This means that applications running in the background can get more processor resources, what can cause the interface to slow down.

3. Background processes

In the case of Android, several OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) provide custom operating systems based on Android's unified source code.

In addition, developers integrate a variety of unique features, such as pre-installed applications and device-specific features. All this leads to an increase in the number of background processes and the consumption of more and more RAM memory.

Nonetheless, this is not the case for iOS devices. Apple's operating system is highly optimized and has been rigorously tested numerous times. Unlike Android, iOS limits the use of background processing in order to conserve battery life and improve user experience.

4. Other Reasons

iOS takes a different approach to memory management. While Android memory is handled by the operating system, iOS memory is handled by the applications themselves.

Instead of letting apps take up as much RAM as they want and free it up when it's not in use, iOS apps automatically allocate and deallocate memory as needed.

In short, Just because iPhones have less RAM doesn't mean they perform worse.. In fact, aside from the endless debate over iPhone RAM vs Android RAM, the iPhone performs impressively with its limited hardware resources.

iOS RAM vs Android RAM: Who Manages Better?

When it comes to RAM memory management or optimization, Apple clearly takes the lead. This is due to the optimizations and various other factors we mentioned above.

But if you're using an Android smartphone, there are several things you can do on your part to get decent RAM usage and lag-free smartphone experience. You can, for example, use a third-party application to create virtual RAM, stop unwanted background processes, freeze idle applications, and so on.

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