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Home ยป Here’s why Google’s Pixel tablet only supports 64-bit apps

Here’s why Google’s Pixel tablet only supports 64-bit apps

Google's Pixel tablet

Google’s Pixel Tablet might only be able to run Android 13 64-bit.

When it comes out next year, Google’s Pixel Tablet might only be able to run a 64-bit version of Android.

When Google announced the Pixel Tablet at its Google I/O developer conference in May, it didn’t say much about it. Since then, we haven’t known much about it either. But new information shared on Twitter by Esper’s senior technical editor Mishaal Rahman suggests that Google is testing a 64-bit version of Android on the device.

Rahman posted a link to Google’s development resources, which show the company is testing 64-bit-only Android 13 builds on a device codenamed ‘Tangor.’ Tangor is Google’s tablet.

Going 64-bit has repercussions. Cutting 32-bit support should lower RAM utilisation, but the tablet couldn’t run 32-bit software. Play Store apps must employ 64-bit architecture, thus that shouldn’t be a problem.

Google has been working on 64-bit-only Android for a while, with Android 12 being the first version that can be constructed using 64-bit-only components. Android 13 is similar.

Did’nt Apple does the same in 2017?

You may question why Google waits so long after Apple switched to 64-bit iOS in 2017? Apple controls its app and device markets, making it easier to force developers to make this change. When making a large changeover, Google’s open-source OS relies on many more distribution options and device makers. The Chinese market has been problematic for a long time, with multiple app stores coexisting next to each other, making this transfer difficult. These marketplaces have agreed to phase out 32-bit app compatibility, so 64-bit-only apps and devices are more common.

Chipmakers may compel the move. Arm chip designs, which most mobile processors use, are migrating to 64-bit-only architectures after launching unsymmetrical devices with few 32-bit cores. New Cortex-X3 and Cortex-A715 only support 64-bit processes, and a revised Cortex-A510 only supports 32-bit compatibility on request.

If the Pixel tablet goes 64-bit-only, what about Pixel phones? Google may utilise the Pixel tablet as a test bed to observe how consumers and app developers react to a 64-bit only computer before making the similar move on its most critical hardware products. The company may also switch its entire product line to 64-bit in 2023, which makes sense given that it uses proprietary Tensor SoCs.

This is a conjecture at this stage. Google may be testing how well the Pixel Tablet runs on a 64-bit-only variant internally and may scrap the experiment.

Whatever Google chooses, you won’t see a real-world difference. The Play Store began requiring 64-bit releases in 2019, and in 2021, all apps have to comply. All upgraded apps function on 64-bit devices.

While there is a lot to see what’s coming. You can read here about the best OnePlus Android Phones for 2022.

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