The Google Pixel tablet made an appearance during Google I/O 2022, however, the device specs still remain under wraps. The Pixel tablet will reportedly launch in 2023, and now there’s word that it will support 64-bit apps only. This could make it one of the first Android devices that will no longer support 32-bit apps.
Esper’s Mishaal Rahman was able to unearth this interesting detail about the upcoming Pixel tablet after digging through code in Google’s development resources. The Pixel tablet, codenamed “Tangor,” will likely feature a 64-bit-only build of Android 13. Rahman notes that this means the tablet will not support 32-bit apps anymore.
With this development, Google will be following in the footsteps of Apple, which had gone the 64-bit-only route back in 2017. It has been relatively easy for Apple to make the switch due to its closed ecosystem. Meanwhile, Google will take longer to ditch 32-bit apps since it is an open-source OS.
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Rahman had earlier noted in a detailed post about 64-bit only Android, that Android will not be able to immediately remove support for 32-bit apps on all its devices. However, the shift to 64-bit apps could be accelerated by the introduction of an increased number of 64-bit SoCs. He states that the new Cortex-X3 and Cortex-A715 come with 64-bit support only. However, there still exist some SoCs with a mix of both 32 and 64-bit cores. This could be attributed to the presence of 32-bit apps that are still in the market.
Back in 2019, Google updated its Play Store policy to include 64-bit versions of apps. But this rule couldn’t be easily implemented in China, which has its own app stores with different sets of rules. However, that’s set to change, with China’s app stores agreeing to phase out 32-bit apps within this year.
With the Google Pixel tablet set to switch to 64-bit support, other devices could also eventually follow suit.