iPadOS 15 unlocks as much as 12GB of RAM for use by each app, up from 5GB

Apple Music iPadOS
Apple Music iPadOS (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPadOS 15 will allow apps to use as much as 12GB of RAM.
  • Currently, apps are limited to just 5GB.
  • iPadOS 15 ships on Monday, September 20.

Apple's iPadOS 15 will allow apps to use as much as 12GB of RAM when it ships on Monday, September 20. That's a huge jump from the 5GB that previous versions of iPadOS made available.

Until now, Apple has limited how much RAM a single app can use in order to avoid over-taxing the system. But with some iPads now coming with as much as 16GB of RAM, Apple is now giving apps access to much more of it — as was first suspected when iPadOS 15 was announced earlier this year.

The news came via developer Lucky Clan, the team behind Artstudio Pro — an iPad art app that can make great use of as much RAM as Apple will give it. According to Lucky Clan, iPads with 16GB of RAM will allocate 12GB to a single app, while those with 8GB will be able to give a single app as much as 6GB.

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This news comes as Apple recently announced a new iPad mini that comes with a powerful A15 chip inside and could be a great workhorse. The addition of extra RAM options for developers will only help there, potentially making the little tablet the best iPad for all kinds of uses.

Apple's new iPad mini is available for pre-order right now and goes on sale next Friday, September 24.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • “This news comes as Apple recently announced a new iPad mini that comes with a powerful A15 chip inside and could be a great workhorse. The addition of extra RAM options for developers will only help there, potentially making the little tablet the best iPad for all kinds of uses.” Except that the iPad Mini 6 has only 4GB of RAM. The Mini 5 had 3. It’s a nice upgrade for the Mini, but it is NOT a “mini iPad Pro”. Hint: the CPU used has no bearing on the amount of RAM. The Minis have historically been a mini iPad Air. The current Air 4 has a 6 core, 3GHz A14. The Mini 6 has a 6 core, 2.9GHz A15. Close enough. Both have 4GB RAM and both come in 64GB and 256GB storage options. If you want/need lots of RAM in an iPad, the Pro models are your only choice.