12 Replies Latest reply: May 23, 2010 4:02 AM by Malcolm Rayfield
Ray Li1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I am considering to buy a 16 or 32 GB iPhone and I would like to know this memory size is for installation of application program or file storage only. Is there any restriction of application program installation for each memory size like other feature phones, i.e., 110 MB for application programs and 16 GB for file storage only. Thanks!

iMac 27", Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4 (2,150 points)
    Those sizes you see are the sizes you get, less OS space. My 16 comes down to 14.3GB for real usage, and I think you can split that pretty much how you like.
  • Ray Li1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Actually I don't care and fully understand that the OS + built-in applications occupy some space. The occupied space is small as compared with 16 or 32 GB. It is critical for me about how much space for installation of apps from apps stores. Currently all feature phones (Windows mobile, Android, etc.) have limitation, ie, a 16 GB memory phone has only 110 MB (0.11 GB) for installation of apps. This is not controlled by the user, but by design. In simple word to a normal user, they can install limited number of apps on mobile phones due to limited memory allocated by OS. If the 16 or 32 GB is allowed to use for installation of apps, I would consider unlimited number of apps as I never use it up. In reality, 1 to 2 GB is large enough for a good number of apps installed by the users. I hope Apple is different from other OS but would like to confirm with current users.
  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4 (2,150 points)
    I've not seen any official posted figures but I have 75 Apps currently installed at a total of 1.4GB, when I get back later I might put them all on just to see.
    So you know you can do at least that much.
  • vgking96 Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
    as of right now

    iphones can have up to 180 apps installed

    I currently have 110 apps installed at 2.39GB and I have 43 more on my pc
  • gumsie Level 4 Level 4 (2,150 points)
    Thanks. I certainly didn't know that.
  • Ray Li1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    It appears that most of users may not be aware of this limitation/spec. I am using a 16 GB Samsung i908 and installed about 30 apps and cannot install more even though I have about 13.5 GB left, otherwise, the phone will hang easily and/or the apps running slowly. With given information, it seems iPhone does not have such barrier.
  • Ray Li1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I learnt from the rumorous specs of iPhone 4G that it will use 512 MB RAM for installation of apps that doubles up 256 MB of existing 3GS but could not find any official document to confirm it of 3GS. Have anyone been aware of this official spec and where I can find it. Thanks! roumous
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    I learnt from the rumorous specs of iPhone 4G that it will use 512 MB RAM for installation of apps that doubles up 256 MB of existing 3GS but could not find any official document to confirm it of 3GS.

    The RAM size does not limit the number or size of installed apps. For example, some GPS apps include maps, and are over 1 GB in size. RAM is used by apps only when the apps are running. With version 4's multitasking, RAM size may limit the number of apps running simultaneosly, but does not limit the number installed.
  • Ray Li1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    If you use an apps that requires 1 GB RAM, when you use the program, the pc needs to swap the program files resulting slow response. I do not know if you notice the left RAM size is reducing when you install more programs. Certain part of program must be installed on RAM part and the rest can be on flash drive. I am looking forward to hearing the answer being NO. That is totally different from Mobile Phones.
  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,860 points)
    There are no Apps that require 1GB of RAM. Some require >1GB of +storage space+ (such as SatNav Apps), but they don't need that much RAM to be used.

    The iPhone 3GS can only run one third-party App at a time. So as soon as you quit one App the RAM used is freed to be used by the next App you run.

    Memory management is not something you need to worry yourself about with an iPhone (unlike other phones). The OS handles it all and it is transparent to the user. That is by design.
  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,860 points)
    iphones can have up to 180 apps installed


    Not true.

    You can have many more than that. It's just that there isn't space to see them in the 11 home screens.

    Additional Apps (over the 180 visible ones) can be found and run using Spotlight.

    In iPhone OS 4.0 you will be able to install over 2500 Apps.
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    If you use an apps that requires 1 GB RAM, when you use the program, the PC needs to swap the program files resulting slow response.

    When you install apps, they go unto flash memory only, not RAM. When you run an app, RAM will be used. Some RAM is needed for data. Some code may end up in RAM as a cache for the code in the flash memory for extra speed. All iPhone apps are designed to work with 128 MB of RAM.
    I do not know if you notice the left RAM size is reducing when you install more programs.

    It happens when you run more apps, not because more are installed. When you quit the app and start another, it can use new space in the RAM if there is room. This means going back to the previous app will be faster because RAM already contains its code. This will make it appear that more apps use more RAM. This is true, but more apps don't NEED more RAM since a new app can write over the space an earlier app was using if RAM fills up. The RAM only has to be large enough for the requirements of one app.

    With multitasking, more RAM may be needed at one time. The original and 3G iPhones have 128 MB of RAM. These models will not have multitasking. All apps are designed to work an all models, so none need more than 128 MB of RAM. The iPhone 3GS will support multitasking, but it has 256 MB or RAM. This will allow two apps to simultaneously have full RAM without having to swap to slower flash memory. Norma;y, though, background tasks are limited to just part of their functionality, such as streaming audio or transferring data. They are not doing graphics, or handling user input, so can get by with less RAM than normal. That means several tasks can run without running out of RAM. It is unlikely that you would have enough background tasks actually doing computing at once to run out of RAM, but if necessary the phone could swap RAM into the flash memory.
    Certain part of program must be installed on RAM part and the rest can be on flash drive. I am looking forward to hearing the answer being NO.

    Installed apps that are not being used don't use any space in RAM. They just use space in flash memory. The flash memory doesn't have limits on what portion can be used for apps. Lots of large apps, however, will limit the space available for musics, photos and video.
    That is totally different from Mobile Phones.

    The iPhone is different from other mobile phones in many ways.