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Android 4.4 KitKat could offer 64-bit support

The upcoming Android update could offer 64-bit support next to the usual optimizations.

Google already mentioned that Android 4.4 KitKat will arrive soon and only the minor details need to be uncovered at this time. Next to the day of release, another part that needs confirmation is the 64-bit support that should have been offered by Google's Android already.

Linux forms the basis of Android and it introduced 64-bit support back in 2004. Today, the Intel Bay Trail Atom chips feature full support for 64-bit operating systems. Since the first tablets using these chips are already showing up, it is only a matter of time until Android adds 64-bit support.

Apple's iOS 7 just added 64-bit support and, as first benchmarks show, the iPhone performs now much better than before. This is another reason for Google to catch up and finally bring 64-bit support to Android.

In addition to the above, this year's Intel Developer Forum revealed one major tendency - Intel is slowly shifting its focus towards Android and Chrome OS, leaving Microsoft's Windows behind.

While Google did not confirm it yet, the image from IDF 2013 showing "Enhancements on Android" makes it clear - Android 4.4 KitKat may be the first 64-bit version of Google's mobile operating system or the last one still stuck in a 32-bit world.


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Codrut Nistor, 2013-09-20 (Update: 2013-09-21)