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64-bit Android L developer preview emulator now available

In preparation for the upcoming Android L release, Google has added NDK revision 10b, with a 64-bit Android L developer preview emulator for easier 64-bit optimization app testing.
October 10, 2014
Android Developers 64-bit

Android devices with full 64-bit support have slowly begun to flow to the market, with many more due in the new year. In preparation, Google has launched the 64-bit Android L developer preview emulator, so devs can start testing their 64-bit apps.

This is great news for those that want to eek the most performance possible out of their devices and apps. The list of benefits highlighted by Google in this update include a larger number of registers, increased addressable memory space and new instruction sets.

Better yet, if you’ve built an app using Java, your code will automatically benefit from the new x86 64-bit architecture.

Intel processor

Looking at this a little closer, this is an x86 release, which leads us to recall that Intel has been working fairly hard with Android to gain official support from Google for their processors. We cannot confirm anything here, but it does appear we should welcome Intel to the ranks of ARM64 and mips64 in the ‘officially supported by Google’ game.

Developers can head over to the Android Developers website to download NDK revision 10b to get started testing their 64-bit focused apps today.

For the rest of us, this is a great step forward for the folks building our favorite devices and apps. I would make a comment about it being unfortunate we’ll have to wait for Android L to drop before we can enjoy these new performance boosts, but with more and more certainty that the Nexus 6 is going to launch this month, we have to assume Android L is not far behind.

What do you say, is 64-bit support for mobile devices really going to make a big difference?