Concepts 5.10.7 for iOS Release - More Memory on the M1 iPad Pro

October 2021 Update

Create bigger with an extended RAM release for new M1 iPad Pro users in Concepts 5.10.7 for iOS.

For those of you who tend to create larger pieces of work and have trouble opening drawings or exporting files, we have good news for you. Concepts now has access to the extended RAM in your M1 iPad Pro thanks to iOS 15. With this Concepts 5.10.7 update, you have more room to create.

As background, RAM is the Random-Access Memory that handles file data as your CPU processes it - for example, rendering new drawing data on the canvas, or exporting a drawing into a new file format such as a PNG.

On all higher capacity iOS devices, Apple previously capped RAM usage somewhere around 5GB. As images and files become larger, this RAM limit is what causes drawings not to open and your various apps to crash when files exceed the limit. Even the new M1 iPad Pros were capped at 5GB of RAM access, despite having 8GB or 16GB built in.

An increase in the RAM available to apps means a few helpful things for you, as well as a couple of caveats.

The Good News

1. Opening large drawings that previously used up all the RAM on your device and led to Concepts showing a memory warning or crashing should open without trouble now.

2. If Concepts reported being out of memory or crashed when exporting large canvases, especially at high ppi, you should now find these limits are higher.

3. With the higher capacity, you should see more ppi options appear in the Export menu. This depends on your canvas size and how much you've packed into it, and what your device specifications are.

(And if the file is genuinely too large, Concepts will give you a Memory Warning in the status bar, and will share a report if it runs out of memory while exporting.)

The Caveats

1. Apple does not guarantee access to more RAM, so just because you can potentially open and export larger drawings, doesn't mean it will always work. This is dependent on iPadOS, not Concepts.

2. It also doesn't mean you should actively make even larger drawings, or you might run into the same issues you experienced with the older iPad Pros.

We are continuing to grow our app along with Apple's technology. Developing at the front line is one of our core goals so your creative toolkit remains cutting edge.

Coral reef mural by Erica Christensen.

A Big Example

Our team ran several tests on a 16GB M1 iPad Pro with large files that crashed when exporting on earlier iPad Pro models. We found it could consistently export about 4X the file data. With a file that could barely export at 72ppi (add a stroke and it crashed), we could now export a 150ppi file (150ppi doubles the resolution both height x width).

As an example of the type of work you can potentially create on an iPad Pro, the 16.8 foot x 8 foot mural in the image above was drawn in Concepts by artist Erica Christensen. You can read about her mural creation story on Instagram, and special thanks to UnderWraps Sushi restaurant for permission to share the mural.

While she could draw the mural in Concepts using her 2018 iPad Pro (2nd Gen, 12.9 inch), she couldn't export the file at a resolution that could be printed, leading to some emergency handling. The file was a 56.8 MB compressed .concepts file that barely made a 72ppi JPG export.

UnderWraps Sushi Restaurant in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Photo credit: Emanuel Morales.

We decided this would be a great file to test on the new models. We were able to export a 150ppi PNG of the same file in about 9 seconds using an M1 iPad Pro (16GB, 11 inch, 3rd Gen, Model A2377). This was consistent both with and without apps open in the background. Rendering was still snappy on the file, and there were no issues zooming, panning, nudging etc.

Again, what we found in our tests may be different for you, but you should be able to do more with those large files and continue creating your giant ideas.

We hope this update helps you to accomplish more with greater flexibility.

The Concepts Team

Cover photo by Erica Christensen

New to Concepts? Start your infinite sketching journey with these videos.

Concepts for iOS Quick Start - Start sketching in 5 minutes on your iPad with Concepts.
Concepts for iOS Deep Dive - Learn how to navigate Concepts' infinite canvas and tools in this 15 minute tutorial.
Concepts for Windows Walkthrough - Start sketching with Concepts on Windows 10. 
Concepts for Android Walkthrough - Learn to sketch with Concepts on Android and Chrome OS.

Not an artist? Not a problem.

Drawing isn't just for artists, it's for everyone. Learn how to sketch and communicate visually with our free Learn to Draw Series by TopHatch designer Lasse Pekkala. Find downloadable course materials in the video descriptions and level up your sketching.

Find more sketching tutorials on our YouTube channel @conceptsapp.