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64-bit support coming to Android 4.4 KitKat?

At IDF 2013, Intel talked about 64-bit support for Android devices, sort-of suggesting that Android 4.4 KitKat may offer such a feature - however, that particular feature is yet to be confirmed by Google.
September 17, 2013
64-bit Intel chips for Android

New reports say that 64-bit support is coming to Android in the near future – maybe as soon as Android 4.4 KitKat – or at least that’s what a recent Intel presentation seems to imply.

The image above is taken from a presentation given by Intel at its Developer Forum last week, where the company talked about its computing plans for the future, touching on various operating systems including Windows and Android.

As you can see in the picture, 64-bit support is mentioned as an upcoming “enhancement” for Android devices that will have Intel chips under the hood.

While Intel didn’t specifically confirm that 64-bit support is coming to Android 4.4 KitKat, it would make sense to see that happen considering the recent interest in mobile processors with such powers.

Apple was first to announce a mobile device that will have a chip with 64-bit support – the iPhone 5S with an Apple A7 inside – but it won’t be the only company to offer such products.

Samsung has also confirmed that its mobile devices will support 64-bit processing in the future, and now Intel is apparently saying that its mobile chips are ready to do the same.

In fact, Intel’s current Bay Trail Atom chips “are certified as ‘Intel 64’ chips,” which means they’re ready to offer 64-bit support.

Interestingly, during IDF 2013 Intel was joined on stage by Google, as Sundar Pichai himself made an appearance to talk about Chrome and Android. From the looks of it, the chipmaker is more and more interested to increase its presence in the Android ecosystem.

That said, don’t get too excited about 64-bit processing just yet, no matter how interesting it may sound – and we’ll have to wait a while to see whether Android 4.4 KitKat will indeed offer such functionality. But it seems more than clear that 64-bit chips will be found in more and more mobile devices in the coming years, so it’s logical to speculate that Google will be ready to support them with future versions of its operating systems.

Google is rumored to unveil the next Nexus smartphone alongside Android 4.4 KitKat on October 14.