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The iPad Air 5 64GB model will not include the virtual memory swapping feature of iPadOS 16



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The iPad Air 5 64GB model will not include the virtual memory swapping feature of iPadOS 16


Apple recently announced two new features coming to M1 iPads with the upcoming iPadOS 16 update. This includes the Stage Manager feature and Virtual Memory Swap. However, while all three M1 iPads benefit from both features, the base model iPad Air 5th Gen won’t benefit from a virtual memory swap.

The virtual memory swap is essentially a swap file, a reserved part of the device’s storage that can be used as virtual memory when the device runs out of system memory. iPadOS 16’s virtual memory swapping feature can reserve up to 16GB of storage space to use as system memory if a particularly demanding application requires it.

Due to its memory-sensitive nature, Apple has decided to limit this feature to devices with at least 128GB of built-in storage only. This is not an issue for both iPad Pro models, which come with 128GB base storage, however the 2022 iPad Air 5 only has 64GB as base storage, so this variant will not include this feature and will only It will be available in the 256 GB variant.

However, this contradicts the reason why Apple doesn’t include Stage Manager functionality as it isn’t present on non-M1 iPads. In addition to taking advantage of the increased performance of the M1, Stage Manager also relies on the 8GB memory and virtual memory swapping feature to load and run a bunch of applications at the same time.

Since the base iPad Air 5 doesn’t include virtual memory swapping but still has Stage Manager, some have questioned the need for the M1 to run this feature. Of course, there’s still the performance difference between the M1 and A14 used in the iPad Air 4, but perhaps a more limited version of Stage Manager could have been included in older iPads.

Of course, as we move up the iPad lineup, processors slow down and system memory shrinks, calling into question the viability of a feature like Stage Manager on these devices. Since Apple prioritizes performance, it makes sense that older iPads can’t run this feature.

As such, we think it’s only fair that the feature be limited to the iPad M1s. However, it would be interesting to see how the feature performs on the base iPad Air 5 compared to the 256GB model or iPad Pros.

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