Pixel 7 only supports 64-bit apps; what that means to you

Google’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are important phones for a few reasons, but one of the biggest is how they support apps. As it turns out, the Pixel 7 series is the first Android phone to block support for apps that aren’t 64-bit. What does that mean to you? Let’s discuss.

It’s no secret that Google has been working towards a future where Android is a 64-bit operating system, as opposed to one that still supports 32-bit software. What is the difference between the two? In short, a 64-bit operating system can access drastically more memory addresses, leading to improvements in both performance and security. Google boasted speed improvements in Chrome for Android, for example when it moved to a 64-bit version.

Android made the move to support 64-bit apps in 2011 with the launch of Android 5.0, but the platform has always supported 32-bit apps in the years since. It was in 2019 that Google transitioned to make 64-bit support a requirement for all apps distributed through the Google Play Store, Android’s primary source of apps, with the Play Store later stopping offering apps that run 64-bit. bits not supported or did not have a 64-bit version.

Now Google is taking the next step by releasing the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro with only 64-bit support for apps, but not through a solid block.

As Mishaal Rahman confirmed, the Pixel 7 series only supports 64-bit apps. However, the devices do not run on a 64-bit version of Android, just block the installation of 32-bit apps with a message “app not installed as app is not compatible with your phone” that appears when a user tries to install a 32- bit app.

What does this mean to you?

In theory, Google’s change to only support 64-bit apps on the Pixel 7 series shouldn’t have a noticeable impact on your experience.

This is largely due to the foundation Google has laid over the past decade in building support for 64-bit in Android. One of the few apps that comes to mind as a 32-bit app is the flash-in-the-pan hit Flappy Bird, which hasn’t been updated since the game’s monumental success and still shocking shutdown. Rahman also points out that a version of the Pebble smartwatch app doesn’t support 64-bit, meaning the older smartwatches, which are still technically functional, though unsupported, won’t be able to pair with Google’s latest Pixel phones. .

It is striking that this also has a potential positive point. Rahman claims that energy efficiency and performance benchmarks on devices with more than 4 GB of RAM increase by 5-10%.

Meanwhile, Google’s Pixel tablet is expected to be the first Android device to be truly 64-bit only, as Android 14 may take that further for other devices.

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