Let’s start from scratch. RAM, random access memory, is a volatile memory installed on all computers, tablet smartphone and other devices such as routers, smartwatches, decoders, tv box, calculators.
It’s goal is to store pieces of information in order to prevent the continuous reading and writing of the hard disk/flash memory. This because the disk, no matter if spinning or flash, is much slower than the RAM, so the cache. Also, reducing the number of reading in a spinning disk will preserve its life. What’s more, RAM is cheap, compared to other components.
So, what’s stored in RAM? Simply data of those programs you use more, so that they are available, ready to use in a blink. This is also the basic principle upon which RAM management in Android is based. Suppose you have 100 apps installed but you mainly use 5 of them, say Facebook, Instagram, Google Chrome, Twitter, the camera. Android tries to keep these apps in RAM as much as it can so that they can be loaded in zero time. Also, Android, like all UNIX based system, obey to the rule free RAM = wasted RAM, so as many apps as possible are kept in RAM to deliver a smooth and lag-free experience. This is the reason why using task-killers is highly discouraged (unless you really know what you’re doing).
So, more RAM means that the system is faster? No, not always, because responsivness depends on many factors, such as the CPU and the optimization of the software to the hardware. Actually, unless you measure an app’s startup time with the 100 m olympic stopwatch, the difference between having 1 GB of RAM and 2 GB is unappreciable, it’s a question of milliseconds.
You truly appreciate having more RAM when it comes to multitasking. Take this example. I had to enable my home banking app. Once I inserted the needed data, they would have sent me an alphanumeric code via SMS and a link in a email. By opening that link, my home banking app would have open a window where I had to insert the code I received via SMS. Thus, I was supposed to keep GMail, messenger and my home banking app open at the same time.
Now, a poor RAM management or a simple lack of RAM would have “closed” (better, freezed) my home banking app while I opened GMail to click on the link. If the home banking app closes while opening GMail, you have to start back the whole procedure, which is quite frustrating.
That’s what having more RAM means. The difference between 1 and 2 GB of RAM allows you to work contemporarily in 2+ apps avoiding that one of them closes while working in another on top; it allows you to write a post on your blog having your notes in Evernote or Keep open in background on the very note you need. On this side, Google have done an excellent work in RAM management, you don’t need task killers. The bottleneck, on the other hand, is in the OEM.