iPads now get Virtual Memory Swap to make them work like Macs! Is iPad a computer now?
iPads with the iPadOS 16 update is getting a massive feature that could change the way you perceive iPads – Virtual Memory Swap. Haven't heard of it? It is similar to the concept of virtual RAM, a trick that has long existed on Macs and Windows PCs, and is now making its way to mobile devices. Android devices have been increasingly popularizing this feature as a way to enhance multitasking by adding more virtual RAM capacity to the existing RAM. Now iPads will also do the same.
The way this technology works is simple. For massive multitasking, computers need more RAM to hold apps or processes. Under extreme loads, your computer may run out of RAM space to host these apps. This process can be mitigated by allocating virtual memory space from the main storage. Hence, adding a few GBs of storage space for the RAM function helps with better loaded multitasking.
iPads get Virtual RAM feature
On the iPad, users may often need more RAM capacity to host multiple apps at once. And now with the Stage Manager feature on iPadOS 16, there will be requirement for more RAM when users subject their iPads to demanding tasks. In this case, iPadOS 16 will allocate up to 16GB of space from the storage to the RAM, thereby enhancing the multitasking capability. This feature will work automatically in the background and most users may not even notice it. However, there is a caveat to this feature.
Virtual Memory Swap is limited
Sadly, the feature to enhance multitasking on iPads isn't reaching all iPads eligible to get the iPadOS 16 update. Apple has clarified that the Virtual Memory Swap feature is necessary for the Stage Manager feature to work. And due the technical limitations, both of these are limited to the M1 powered iPad models.
That means the Stage Manager and Virtual Memory Swap is only available on the 2021 iPad Pro models, and the 2022 iPad Air 5th Gen. M1 iPads all come with 8GB RAM. However, there is another requirement here that rules out the base iPad Air 5th Gen from getting this feature.
Apple says that the Virtual Memory Swap feature requires at least 128GB of storage space. Hence, the base 64GB iPad Air 5th Gen is exempt from this feature; the 256GB model gets it though.