Here’s Why iOS Devices Run Faster than Android Devices with 2x the RAM


According to Glyn Williams over on Quora, iOS devices with 1 GB RAM are able to compete with more than 2 GB RAM of Android devices because Android apps use Java and need all the extra RAM to do “garbage collection”. As detailed by CultofMac, garbage collection is basically a process that triggers the recycling of memory once an Android app is done using it.

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An iPhone 6 with 1GB of RAM runs much faster than a similarly specced Android smartphone with 2GB of RAM, all because of the fundamental difference in the way iOS and Android handle apps. Williams notes that Android’s garbage collectors work best when Android apps have at least 4 to 8 times as much memory as is actually needed in order to perform the garbage collection process.

“You need four or eight times more memory, than you are actually using to be super efficient. But when the memory becomes constrained, that performance goes way down. This is why Android devices have all that RAM. iOS does not use this style of garbage collection and does not slow down in constrained memory environments. So 1GB for iOS results in more performance than 3GB for Android.”

Well, now you know that specs don’t always tell the whole story, especially when it comes to Android devices.


  • Chrome262

    Java in general, can be clunky like that.

  • K3

    Cant remember if this is correct but Wacom put out both a Windows and Android portable tablet year before last, this gives a little more insight as to why there hadn’t been an OSX collaboration.

    Hopefully that iPad 12″ might be that “one more thing” for the art community.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    but what about the bottlenecking and system crashes /s

  • alphs22

    Can I have “Things Fandroids will never understand” for $200, Alex.

  • Haha

  • Sarge

    !GB is “enough” because that’s what Apple used. But you’d all be praising it if it had 2-3GB. I’m holding off another year, it’s sad that a flahship iPhone has the same RAM as the 2011 model

  • FragilityG4

    It currently is not fast enough for you?And I’m not asking about on paper, I’m asking about use.

  • ShaBi

    He wouldn’t know. He didn’t get one because he thought it was sad.

  • FragilityG4

    Or try one … Trolling fAndroids.

  • K3

    How about that Mac Mini this year? ???? Check out refurbs, you too can have a 2010 Mac display for the low low price of $800.

  • Sarge

    Heh, never had an Android Phone. Just an iPhone 3GS/4/5

  • TechGuy

    Not even remotely true… Java’s garbage collection may have been that bad 15 years ago and Android may have been sluggish when it first came out, but this is certainly not true anymore.

  • victor321

    Let’s hope Oracle start suing or charging people for using Java. Seriously, Java is always going to be slow because it’s a half interpreting language whereas Objective C in iOS is a compiled language. Java sucks.