Dealing with tiny RAM

Although how much RAM the iPhone 3G has available was not in the published specs, the general consensus is that it is a puny 128 MB.  This means that all sorts of apps that push these limits, especially big games, tend to crash.  Sometimes simply rebooting the phone (power off & on) will resolve problems. (Edit: the new iPhone 3GS has 256 MB RAM which should solve most of these problems, but as of 6/2009 it is still unknown if it can be jailbroken.)

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now, but was glad to see Big Boss has already posted a very helpful and comprehensive report.

To his comments I would add only the following:

  • Close all Safari pages and/or don’t launch Safari after a reboot when you need RAM
  • As cool as QuickGold is, if you have heaps of contacts and bookmarks, forget it. Either uninstall it or turn off indexing of bookmarks & contacts.
  • Don’t run Backgrounder unless you really need it and are willing to do without the big games.
  • Install Mobile Terminal and Top with Cydia, then run top or ps in MT to get process numbers so that you can kill them (requires some basic UNIX)
  • The community desperately needs an activity / process monitor to force quit processes that works with FW 2.x
  • Edit: The above is now possible with the Process “toggle” of SBSettings (Hurray!) and it works also on FW 3.0. KIll Safari & Mail.
  • Edit: There are also a couple of good Memory apps that will free up some memory.  I recommend MemoryInfo. Using that in conjunction with the SBSettings Process killer (to kill Safari & Mail) resolves most problems without rebooting.
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