The Virtual Memory manager creates a logical address space (or “virtual” address space) for each process and divides it up into uniformly-sized chunks of memory called pages.

Pages holds multiple object in the heap such as UIView, UILabel, String, Data etc., Some object can extend to more than one page. These pages are typically 16Kb in size.

The memory use of the application depends on the number of pages and its page size.

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Typical memory profile of an app:

  • Clean memory
  • Dirty memory
  • Compressed memory
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Clean memory:

  • Memory mapped files are files present in disk that are loaded into memory.
  • If the memory mapped files (can be image.jpg,, Training.model, Frameworks) are read-only, then they it will always be as Clean pages.
  • Kernel manages when the files comes in and out of the RAM.

Dirty memory:

  • Dirty memory is any memory that are written by an app.
  • Dirty memory will be utilized by all heap allocation objects such as malloc, Array, NSCache, UIViews, String and decoded image buffers such as CGRasterData, ImageIO and Frameworks.
  • This dirty memory can be reduced by usage of Singleton classes and Global initializers.

Compressed memory:

Compressed memory will compress and store the unaccessed pages. Memory compressor is used to store & retrieve compressed memory.

Memory compressor performs 2 actions:

  • Compresses unaccessed pages
  • Decompresses pages upon access

Sometimes compressor complicates freeing memory. NSCache is thread safe, can be preferred over Dictionary.

Memory Footprint Limits:

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  • Only Dirty and Compressed memory contributes to high memory footprint.
  • Limits vary from device to device.
  • Applications will have fairly high memory footprint limits whereas Extensions will have much lower limit.
  • EXC_RESOURCE_EXCEPTION will occur if footprint limit is exceeded.

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