Google clears path for 64-bit apps with new Android emulator

android developer
Credit: Android developers

It’s questionable just how much benefit you’ll get from 64-bit apps, but Google’s charging ahead anyway. 

The company launched a new tool for app developers to test 64-bit versions of their creations on the desktop. This helps them to examine the app’s performance and functionality in closer detail ahead of the coming wave of 64-bit devices and Android L.

Google says the Native Development Kit (NDK) features:

  • Increased addressable memory space
  • Larger number of registers
  • New instruction sets

The story behind the story: While 64-bit phones and apps have the potential to be more powerful, the phrase is primarily thrown around for marketing purposes. If 64-bit is twice that of 32-bit, it must be doubly powerful, right? 

Not so fast. The actual details are far more complex, and the real benefit comes from the move to a newer ARM architecture . This development kit will help developers make better-optimized apps, so when Android L rolls out, there will be plenty of apps ready to take advantage of phones and tablets with 64-bit processors.

The transition will ultimately be a good one, but the 32-bit phone in your pocket right now is no slouch. When it’s time to upgrade, choose the device best for you and don’t buy in to all the 64-bit hype.

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