Originally Posted by wizard69
Sure it is irrelevant but not because of what you think. The fact is Apple is on a different path than Android, Android could stay 32 bits forever and it wouldn't matter for either platform. Android won't of course for the same reason Apple hasn't, and that is because it is an excessive limitation for the platform.
I actually don't think about Google's Android plans at all. High-end Android phones will obviously suffer should the platform stay 32-bit.
"Excessive limitation" is quite a strong statement. The PC stayed 32-bit for almost two decades. Actually, Microsoft managed to successfully move to 64-bits with Win7 in 2009 (excluding 64-bit servers, 32-bit Vista ran much better than 64-bit). 64-bit processors for consumer electronics are available since 2000.
And, as I stated in an earlier post, 32-bit CPUs can address more than 4GB of RAM. I am not sure if ARM architecture supports it, but Intel's x86 does. Actually, even the 16-bit 80286 CPU was able to address 16MB RAM (24-bit addressing). So, 32-bit architecture is a huge inconvenience, but not a limitation.
Now, as a few people pointed out, the extended memory range is great since it allows mapping of files greater than 4GB in memory and seamlessly access them as if they were fully loaded into memory, i.e. improved access to resources. With 32-bit architecture that will require splitting resources into separate 4GB blocks, i.e. more code on the developer side, more possibilities for errors, etc. But, that's inconvenience, not a limitation.
That idea that Mac OS runs fine on just 2GB is false and obviously so. It has been well known for years now that 2GB is a minimal allotment of RAM for Mac OS.
The OS requires around 1GB. Watching movies, browsing, image editing (not the Pro software, though), etc, manage to fit in an additional 1GB.
Heavy-weight tasks require more RAM, of course. I've been doing iOS development on 4GB of RAM for quite some time (until mid 2012), and didn't have issues with the system performance. And I'm usually running quite a few applications at once - 30+ browser tabs, playing a movie, and debugging at the same time.
While I can't argue that Androids are often sold to the spec obsessed, the funny thing here is that most of those phones are terrible performers compared to iPhones. Some people seem to not grasp the difference between real world usability and performance vs the spec sheet. As to necessity you do mis one thing, in the beginning Android phones actually did need that extra RAM verses the iPhone to work correctly.
I can't argue about Android's awful resource utilisation. Android still needs more RAM, and still needs more CPU, and still cannot achieve parity. That, however, does not change the fact, that 4GB of RAM is huge.
Nowadays, we've seem to have lost the idea how much 1GB of RAM actually is. My first computer had 4MB of RAM and 80MB HDD ...