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64-bit Android merged into AOSP, suggests a new API level naming convention is on the way

According to two recent merges to the AOSP master branch, 64-bit Android API levels will be renamed to non-numeric characters, starting with Android "L".
June 23, 2014

The possibility of a 64-bit Android update has been in and out of the news ever since we starting hearing about the first 64-bit mobile processors. It seems inevitable that such an update will arrive, but we are still none the wiser as to when. However, perhaps now we can have a guess at what it might be called.

Two of the more recent merges in the AOSP master branch, specifically 99021 and 99016, give mention to 64-bit Android, as well as a possible change in naming convention. According to the recent merges, the 64-bit API level might be moving over to an alphabetical naming system, with the first 64-bit iteration adopting the letter “L”. Although it should be pointed out that even the code list this name as tentative.

Until this news, Google has been keeping a straightforward numerical identifier for its different Android releases, starting with API 1 for Android 1.0, all the way up to KitKat which has API level 19. Switching over to an alphabetical system might make the changeover to 64-bit more readily identifiable to developers.

AOSP Android L

This news has bought about the usual amount of speculation, with several suggestions cropping up for what Google might choose to name its 64-bit implementation of Android. L for Lollipop seems to be a common proposal, but Reddit user mmoser also spotted “lmp-preview” hanging around in the AOSP code too. His suggestion of Lemon Meringue Pie would be in keeping with more long winded Android titles such as Ice Cream Sandwich, and the much rumoured Key Lime Pie moniker prior to KitKat.

With Google I/O just a couple of days away, there is a chance that we might hear something official about the 64-bit Android “L”. After all, this year’s mobile processor technology will be making the jump to 64-bit, so developers will need software support to catch up.

Feel free to leave your own naming suggestions in the comments below.