Google Inc. is opening its system to 64-bit processing, which is good news for developers, but it also means a little more work for them. The software giant announced its new x86 Android L developer preview emulator image Thursday, which will allow developers to build code for the coming Android L operating system in accordance with the 64-bit architecture.
The 64-bit standard has been a long time coming for Android. While Apple Inc. included the technology in the A7 chip on the iPhone 5s last September, most Android manufacturers and suppliers were slow to the game. In recent months, HTC Corp. launched the Desire 510, a budget-friendly smartphone with a 64-bit enabled chip by Qualcomm Inc. Qualcomm is also preparing to launch two 64-bit processors next year for high-end smartphones.
With its announcement, Google has confirmed that the Android L software will be compatible with 64-bit enabled hardware. This configuration typically enables faster data processing than older computing standards. Once it's on the market, users of 64-bit Android powered smartphones and tablets can expect a smoother user experience and better power and memory efficiency from their devices, among many other improvements.
But many developers will have to pull their sleeves up and update their applications to be compatible with the 64-bit architecture. Google notes that developers who work with Java won’t have to update code within their apps, as the programming language is already in accordance with 64-bit. Otherwise, developers can begin building and testing their 64-bit enabled apps here.
Android L is expected to launch between mid-October and mid-December. Currently, previews are only available for developers.