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  • Android reports less memory than I should have

    The explanation below applies to pretty much all Android devices, including our Yarvik GoTab tablets.
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    Storage Memory
    Your Android device has XX GB of Storage memory, but you either:

    - Can see all of it, but somehow can’t use it all;
    - Can see only a part of it (e.g. 10 GB actual memory, only 7.5 GB user-available reported)


    This is because of the way things are partitioned, and because the Operating System (OS) takes up some of that internal storage, you won't actually see e.g. 4 GB of internal storage if you look at the Android phone’s or tablet’s settings.
    Instead, you have about 1.5 GB of "application storage," which is where apps install by default. Then you have 2.5 GB of "Internal storage," on which you can save photos, movies, music, etc.
    Apps also can store data here as well (e.g. some gamedata, Facebook credentials, temporary cache files, etc. etc.), so you'll likely see it decrease over time.

    So, to be pure realistic, you have approximately 2.5 GB of user-accessible internal storage memory, and not a full 4 GB as you might think looking at the spec sheets.
    In the case of a reported 16 GB storage memory, the “application storage” partition also becomes larger (mostly linear), being around 3.5 GB, resulting in a user-accessible storage of 12-12.5 GB, as evident in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

    This internal memory partitioning/distribution isn’t exclusive to the Android OS only. For example: the Apple iOS always claims for about 2 GB of “application storage”. A 16 GB iPad/iPhone only has 14 GB actual, user-accessible storage. This even becomes 4 GB on the 32 GB model, leaving only 28 GB left for the user.

    RAM
    Android also incorporates a certain amount of "work memory", better known as RAM. It shouldn't be a big surprise that the OS also permanently claims its share of RAM, e.g. to have native background processes running, in other words: to just function.
    The amount of RAM that is not taken by the OS can be used for temporary data of other, user-installed apps, or for example all other system data being temporarily moved to system RAM by the OS. It should be clear that the higher the total amount of RAM, the better the device's performance will be.

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    However, every product’s spec sheet will always show you the FULL capacity of the physical memory chip, and strictly taken, that is true for as far the total, factual capacity is concerned.
    This goes for both storage memory and RAM.
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