Devs can now begin testing 64-bit apps for Android L

64-bit Android apps are go. Photo: Google

64-bit Android apps are go. Photo: Google

Android developers can finally begin testing 64-bit apps using Google’s new 64-bit Android L developer preview emulator. The release comes just weeks before Android L is expected to make its public debut, and it should finally kickstart the development of 64-bit Android software.

In a Google+ post announcing the release, Google explains how building 64-bit Android apps enables developers to access increased addressable memory space, a larger number of registers, and a new set of instructions.

“Apps built in Java will automatically gain these benefits, with no changes to existing code,” Google explains. “Apps built on other languages, built with the Android NDK r10b [0], can compile for 64-bit architectures to access the features [mentioned] above.”

While it’s still too early to say just how much of an improvement 64-bit apps will be on Android, we’ve already seen how Apple’s migration to 64-bit with its iOS devices has paid off. iPhone and iPad users have been enjoying significantly greater performance since the introducing of the A7 chip last September.

Mobile chip makers like Qualcomm have already built 64-bit chips that can already be found inside Android-powered devices, but until Android L and the first 64-bit apps rollout this fall, we aren’t going to feel the true benefit of them.

If you’re an Android developers who wants to get your hands on the 64-bit emulator, it’s available now through the Android SDK Manager.