Pixel has been working toward a better and smarter future where Android is a 64-bit OS instead of one that still supports 32-bit software. Now the question is, what’s the difference between these two?
The 64-bit operating system can access more memory addresses. Moreover, it improves performance and security. It is logically and technically better than the 32-bit operating software.
What’s happening with the new Pixel release?
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With the release of Android 5.0 in 2011, Android decided to support 64-bit apps. In 2019, Google made 64-bit support a requirement for all apps. Moreover, this was mandatory for apps distributed through the Google Play Store. However, Android’s primary source of apps ended up being the Play Store. This didn’t support 64-bit or didn’t have a 64-bit version.
Now, Google is taking a step forward by releasing the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Moreover, this only work with apps that support 64-bit, but not in a healthy way. In a tweet, Mishaal Rahman confirmed that the Pixel 7 series only works with 64-bit apps.
The devices don’t run on a 64-bit-only version of Android, though. Instead, when users try to install a 32-bit app, they get a message that says, “app not installed because the app isn’t compatible with your phone.”
Is it helpful or not worth it?
Most of the benefits won’t be evident to consumers because they mainly come from better security, better performance, and lower processing costs. This is the case, as there won’t be as many ABIs. Since August 2019, every app on the Google Play Store has had to support 64-bit. Moreover, the company stopped serving 32-bit apps that didn’t support 64-bit last year.
If we think it right, this also has a positive side effect: benchmarks for power efficiency and performance on devices with more than 4GB of RAM go up by 5–10%.
There’s nothing to worry about if you have a Pixel 7 series device. You’ll have a hard time finding apps that don’t have 64-bit libraries. Moreover, Flappy Bird seems to be the most famous one so far.
How does it affect us all?
In theory, Google’s change to only support 64-bit apps on the Pixel 7 series won’t change how people use phones. This is possible because Google has spent the last 10 years laying the groundwork for 64-bit support in Android.
The app that only works on 32-bit devices is Flappy Bird. Moreover, this hasn’t been updated since it became a huge hit and then got taken down. Rahman also pointed out that one version of the Pebble smartwatch app doesn’t support 64-bit. This means that the older smartwatches are technically still working but aren’t supported. In sum, it can’t be paired with Google’s latest Pixel phones.