Android could soon start warning users when they run 32-bit apps

Although Google has been making efforts to drop 32-bit app support on Android for the last few years, it may still be a while before 32-bit apps become a thing of the past. In a bid to speed up the process, however, Google could soon implement a new change in Android that will warn users when running 32-bit apps on 64-bit systems.

A code change submitted to the AOSP Gerrit (spotted by Mishaal Rahman) highlights a new warning that will pop up whenever the user runs a 32-bit app on a 64-bit system. As you can see in the attached screenshot, the warning message will tell users that the “app needs to be updated by its developer to improve compatibility” and urge them to check for updates or contact the developer. The idea behind this move is to prompt developers to build 64-bit versions of their apps, but we currently have no information about when Google might implement this change.


It’s worth noting that Android already shows a similar warning when users try to run apps that don’t meet the minimum targetSDK requirements. Google implemented this change in Android 10, and the company is now planning to update the minimum supported targetSDK level to 28. With the updated requirement, Android will start warning users when they try to run apps that target Android 8.1 Oreo or older. However, this change is also yet to make its way to current Android 13 builds.

Given that ARM plans to drop support for 32-bit applications from future mobile CPUs starting next year, the warning could force developers to update their apps in time for this change. For the unaware, Android currently supports both 32-bit and 64-bit applications. Due to this, developers have to maintain two binaries for their apps and ARM has to offer CPUs that feature legacy 32-bit support. Since 64-bit processors are inherently more capable than 32-bit processors, it makes sense for the ecosystem as a whole to adopt this change. Apple switched to 64-bit-only support with iOS 11 back in 2017, and it’s high time Android follows suit.

Source: AOSP Gerrit

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