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Even the OnePlus 12 could potentially run all your favorite old apps

Much like the Xiaomi 14 series, the OnePlus 12 also includes Tango, a binary translator that runs 32-bit apps on new SoCs.
By
December 14, 2023
OnePlus 12 Official image from OnePlus
OnePlus
TL;DR
  • OnePlus has included Tango on the OnePlus 12 which is currently available in China.
  • Tango is a 32-bit to 64-bit binary translator that improves compatibility for older apps, allowing 64-bit-only SoCs run these 32-bit apps.
  • OPPO and OnePlus phones will use Tango to boost 32-bit app performance on older SoCs too.

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 looks to be great, and we’re bound to see it featured on some of the best Android phones releasing in 2024. But the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is the first 64-bit only SoC from Qualcomm, because of which older apps that have not been updated to run on 64-bit cores will not run on phones with this SoC. Companies like Xiaomi have added a translation layer to the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Pro to let them run 32-bit apps, and it seems OnePlus is also going down the same route with the OnePlus 12.

Android developer realMlgmXyysd revealed to us that the OnePlus 12 currently available in China also ships with the Tango Translator. Tango is a 32-bit to 64-bit binary translator that improves compatibility for older apps. This lets new phones with 64-bit-only SoCs run these older 32-bit apps without breaking their functionality or needing any other modification.

The developer further reveals to us that OnePlus and OPPO will employ Tango to boost 32-bit app performance on older SoCs, too, even if they officially support 32-bit apps. In their testing, the dev found that Tango translator lets apps perform better than the native 32-bit SoC core.

In OnePlus’s case, the OnePlus 12’s initial software builds in China used an allowlist of over 600 apps that are allowed to use the Tango translator. The latest software build relaxes this allowlist, letting any 32-bit app run on the phone.

Note that the Tango translator on both, the Xiaomi 14 series and the OnePlus 12, is currently on the Chinese software builds of the phone. There’s no guarantee that the same will be included in the international software builds of the phone. China has plenty of 32-bit apps because of the app situation in that market, whereas Google long stopped accepting 32-bit-only apps on the Google Play Store. This requirement has been in place for a few years now, so there is less reason for phones targeting the global market to come with a 32-bit app translation layer, though we are always open to surprises.