Sunday, January 18, 2009

iPhone Free Memory - Why we shouldnt need it!

Here's the kind of program that shouldn't even exist: Free Memory for the iPhone is a small app that allows you to free memory (I guess you figured that out already) allowing you to run other memory intensive programs without "jumping back to the main screen" - something most of you have probably experienced by now in some apps.

The problem is, although the iPhone has 128MB of Ram, most of that memory is used app by its operating system and official apps that keep running in the background even after you've exited them.

It's not uncommon for it to have less than 10MB free after browsing the web, writing some emails and checking some contacts. That's why many games even refuse to start when you start them; and that's why so many developers insist on you resetting your iPhone before running their apps.

When you restart your iPhone, you get about 40MB of free Ram, allowing you to run any app without problems.

So - not that I don't appreciate what these developers have done with this app - I guess this is the kind of stuff we shouldn't need a paid app to do. This is something the operating system should do right from the start. Why can't it free those 40MB of memory by closing all "official" running apps when we're trying to run a game or other memory-intensive app?

I hope the next firmware version fixes this and makes these programs obsolete.


  1. I use Freememory too.

    When I restart the iphone. it has 40+ available ram. As the day goes on, it seems the same apps use more memory every tiem I restart them.

    Shouldnt apps use relatively the same amount of RAM each time?

    If you force close the apps by holding the home button for 6-7 seconds, then they actually quit using the ram, though I'm worried that by force closing the apps all the time that it might eventually do something to my apps or iphone performance.

    I agree, apple should fix the problem in the next firmware update.

  2. Yes, that odd behavior of RAM usage by the same App varying quite significantly is rather strange.

    They've just released 2.2.1 - let's try it for a couple of days and see if it makes any difference (I'm not holding my hopes up though...)

  3. This is most likely a problem with the developer's choice of techniques used to manage memory in their application (typically games it seems). It is often thought of (by some developer's) to be easier to use what is called "Garbage Collection" than taking care of managing memory manually - and there are +/-'s to both. The bottom line is that it is probably poor mem mgmt and has nothing to do with OS - if it did you would see this kind of behavior with most apps if not all.


  4. Well, I "blame" it more on Apple's side because no app is allowed to run after we press the home button to get back to the main screen.

    According to that "free memory" program on the App Store, most of the memory hogs are indeed Apples own Apps (most notably the Safari browser.)

    I can't understand why - when a 3rd party apps requests more memory - doesn't the OS purge all those unneeded apps using memory. Why should I be forced to face "crashes" running a memory intensive app - just because the iPhone has decided to keep the unused Safari in memory at the same time?


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Amazon Store