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One of Apple's biggest iPadOS 16 upgrades is borrowed from Android

Apple Wwdc22 Ipados16 Stage Manager
Apple Wwdc22 Ipados16 Stage Manager (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple announced iPadOs 16 this week at WWDC.
  • New major upgrades include multitasking and more pro features.
  • A new virtual memory swap feature will unlock 16GB of RAM for the most demanding apps.

Apple's new iPadOS 16 software features a new Virtual Memory Swap feature that Android users have been enjoying for some time.

The company unveiled iPadOS 16 on Monday at WWDC 2022, bringing with it major new upgrades to multitasking, external display support, collaboration, and more.

Several major upgrades have been reserved for Apple's M1 iPads, the iPad Air and M1 iPad Pro (2021), including a brand new Virtual Memory Swap feature that will sound very familiar to Android and Windows users.

From Apple:

Powered by the performance of the Apple-designed M1 chip, Display Zoom now allows users to increase the pixel density of the display so they can view more in their apps, which is especially useful when using Split View. With Virtual Memory Swap, iPad storage can be used to expand the available memory for all apps, and delivers up to 16 gigabytes of memory for the most demanding apps, helping to make multitasking absolutely seamless.

Virtual Memory Swap takes storage space on the iPad and turns it into virtual memory, unlocking more RAM for really intensive tasks and improved multitasking, a big important feature now the iPad supports a much more expansive array of multitasking options including expanded full-screen support.

As noted, this needs the power of the M1 chip, so you'll have to be using one of Apple's best iPads to take advantage of it. The same is true of Stage Manager, borrowed from macOS Ventura as a new way to handle real multitasking and resizable windows on iPad.

The first developer beta of iPadOS is out now!

Here's everything Apple announced at WWDC 2022

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

2 Comments
  • Are you saying the so called Android virtual RAM the same as iPad OS 16 virtual memory?
    Consider running a big game that need 12 GB memory to run:
    1. On an Android phone has only 8 GB RAM, what will happen? The game will just crash because there is not enough memory to run. All Android can do is to swap out all other applications maximize available RAM to the game, it can't extend the game's run-time memory to internal storage. 2. On M1 iPad Pro with 8GB RAM and running iPad OS 16, the game will run just fine because the system will allocate 4 GB SSD storage as virtual memory to meet the game's requirement.
  • Virtual memory and swapping to disk have been around for decades longer than Android has existed. Apple, Google, and everybody else, are borrowing from 1960s-era machines.