One of the highlights of the new M1 iPad Pro lineup is that it comes with a minimum of 8GB RAM, with the 1TB and 2TB storage variants shipping with a massive 16GB RAM. That’s a massive leap from the 2020 iPad Pro, which shipped with a maximum of 6GB RAM. However, as it turns out, iPadOS currently limits apps from accessing more than 5GB RAM on the M1 iPad Pro.
The additional RAM on the M1 iPad Pro can allow heavy apps to perform notably better, especially when working with a lot of layers or a large photo. But as many developers are finding out, the new iPad Pro only allows apps to use up to 5GB of RAM. That’s 0.5GB more than the 2020 iPad Pro, so it’s not really a big leap despite the massive jump in the amount of RAM.
Any app that tries to use more than 5GB RAM will instantly crash on the new iPad. Most apps are unlikely to require such a huge amount of RAM, but a professional photo or video editing app can easily consume 4-5GB RAM or more, especially when working with large files.
As of now, all M1 iPads have the same amount of RAM available. As soon as we have access to more, we’ll pass that on to you, too 💜
— Procreate (@Procreate) May 28, 2021
It is unclear why Apple has kept such a limitation on the M1 iPad Pro despite shipping them with base 8GB RAM. On the 16GB M1 iPad Pro models, the additional RAM can help with multitasking as the devices can have multiple apps open in the background for a longer period of time. This limitation also means that if you were planning on buying the 1TB or 2TB iPad Pro for the additional RAM hoping for better performance, you would be disappointed.
Apple may remove or increase this RAM limitation for apps in iPadOS 15, which is due to be unveiled at WWDC 2021 next month. The additional RAM could come in handy in iPadOS 15 that is rumored to add support for home screen widgets and improved multitasking.