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Apple restricts M1 iPad Pro apps to 5GB RAM each

Apple is limiting apps for the new M1 iPad Pro to 5GB RAM each, despite some configurations now featuring 16GB.

The latest iPad is another step towards becoming a true laptop replacement, at least in terms of pure hardware. In fact, it’s the first iPad to feature the same desktop-class M1 processor that Apple is now using across its latest Mac lineup.

While the iPad continues to boast impressive hardware, the software continues to be held back through an OS which – for the most part – remains designed for a smartphone rather than a device that aspires to be so much more.

Some third-party apps are providing impressively close to a desktop-class experience given Apple’s restrictions. One of them is ProCreate.

ProCreate released an update this week to deliver optimisations for users looking to take advantage of the M1 iPad Pro’s power. The leading digital art app often updates its software alongside increases to available RAM in Apple’s latest iPads to enable users to add more layers.

The latest ProCreate update boosts the available layers from 91 on last year’s iPad Pro model to 115 on the new M1 iPad Pro.

That’s an impressive number of layers, but users quickly discovered that limit was the same regardless of whether they were using the base model of the iPad Pro with 8GB RAM or the 1TB and 2TB models which double that to 16GB RAM.

In a tweet, ProCreate explained:

If an app uses more than the Apple-imposed 5GB RAM limitation, it is force-quit and evicted from memory by the system’s jetsam process.

This isn’t the first time Apple has imposed such a limit. For example, the 2018/2020 iPad Pro with 6GB RAM enforced a RAM limit of 3GB per app.

However, this limit is Apple’s most pronounced yet with less than one-third of the available RAM in the high-end iPad Pro models being available to developers.

iPadOS 15 is expected to bring substantial improvements that brings iPad closer to becoming a laptop replacement. Hopefully, that update will unlock some more RAM to play with.

This year’s WWDC is now just under two weeks away so we won’t have long to wait to find out whether Apple will unlock the full potential of its new M1 iPad Pro lineup.

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