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Apple uncorks better iPad app performance with one tiny tweak

The iPad is currently more powerful and work-friendly than many of us could have imagined 11 years ago when the first model was launched. Today, people who own the latest iPad Pro can take advantage of high-powered hardware that’s as fast as the MacBook Pro. But one area where Apple’s tablet still lags behind MacOS is pro-level software. That may start changing with a new behind-the-scenes tweak that Apple will begin offering some apps.

In a developer document spotted by MacRumors that wasreleased alongside the latest iOS and iPadOS beta software, Apple says app makers can now request more memory (RAM) for their apps. More available app memory means better performance and fewer constraints. So an app like Photoshop could potentially support more image layers. Or, iPad video-editing software like LumaFusion could remember more of a video project’s timeline without pausing to catch up.

Woman using an Apple Pencil with Apple iPad Pro with M1 chip.

Previously, Apple had limited applications to a maximum of 5GB of memory, whcht limited individual apps to less than one-third of the ultrapowerful M1 iPad Pro’s potential.

Apple didn’t specify how much extra RAM apps can use under the new rule. And app developers don’t get the additional memory by default. Instead, they’ll need to submit a request to the iPhone maker.

The extra available memory won’t be available on all Apple devices, either. It will likely be limited to high-end devices like the M1 iPad Pro and perhaps future smartphones like an iPhone 13 Pro. Approved developers will also still need to make sure their apps run smoothly on iOS and iPadOS devices that can’t take advantage of the new limit.

Apple has taken a slow and steady course in transforming its tablet into a workhorse that can, for some people, replace a Mac or Windows PC. While many of the company’s customers were hoping for more significant changes in the upcoming iPadOS 15, this new rule could prove to be another incremental step forward in the iPad’s ability to rival a powerful laptop or desktop PC.

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