64-bit processors on smartphones have been around for quite some time now that we have almost forgotten about a conversation that dominated in past years: 32-bit vs 64-bit processors and compatible application software and operating systems.
To spare you the unnecessary computer architecture lesson, here’s what you need to know, in a nutshell: 64-bit processors are capable of handling more data at a go than their 32-bit counterparts. They store more computational values and can perform more calculations per second since they can fetch, move and process larger chunks of data within a smaller timeframe, thereby resulting in better performance.
The entire mobile industry started the shift to 64-bit computing 3 years ago with Apple adopting a total changeover to the 64-bit side of things with the release of iOS 11. Android, on the other hand, adopted a more gradual approach by adding support for 64-bit processors in version 5.0 (Lollipop) but still allowing both, apps meant for 32-bit and 64-bit processors, to co-exist. Kind of like how many of us operate on Windows computers.
From August last year, Google stopped accepting new apps on the Play Store that did not have versions meant for 64-bit devices. In another year, Google will stop serving 32-bit apps on devices with 64-bit processors altogether.
In what it says are efforts to streamline its development processes, Niantic, the developer of popular augmented reality (AR) game Pokemon Go, has announced that starting in August, it will be dropping support for 32-bit Android devices.
“By removing support for 32-bit Android devices, we are able to streamline our development process and focus resources on supporting newer operating systems and technologies,” the company says in a statement posted on its support pages.
Now, this shouldn’t concern many of us, since it affects devices released before 2015 like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z2, Sony Xperia Z3, the OnePlus One, the HTC One (M8) and others.
Still, users of the said devices (other devices of note included the Moto G and the Nexus 6), will have to brace themselves for life without Pokemon Go come August. This is probably the nudge they needed to move with the times.