Google releases 64-bit Android L emulator for x86 Intel processors

Android app developers can now download a new 64-bit Android L emulator image from Google, but there's a big catch: It will only work on x86 Intel-based processors.

The new emulator will allow app developers to optimize their software for 64-bit versions of Android L. In a Google+ post, the company said app creators will be able to access a larger amount of addressable memory space with 64-bit support, along with a bigger number of registers and new instruction sets. While apps built using Java will automatically access all those cool features, Google says apps made using the Android NDK will take some additional optimization to achieve full 64-bit support.

Of course, the vast majority of Android devices use ARM-based processors but there's no word on when a 64-bit emulator will be released for those kinds of CPUs.

Source: Android Developers on Google+ via GSMArena

John Callaham
  • It would be pretty incredible if I could partition my Surface Pro 3's hard drive and install Android L natively so I could have the best of both worlds. Would this be theoretically possible with 64-bit support? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nope, the Surface Pro would be capable of running Android natively in x86 mode as well, so a 64-bit image does nothing in that regard, it should in theory be able to run on the Surface Pro already, but that is dependent on interest in someone porting it over.
  • You can already have a pretty "native" android running on any platform, just Google for 'genymotion' Posted via the Android Central App
  • Genymotion isn't as good as it one was, especially if you need to work with anything Google. I personally have moved on to Andyroid. Sure it doesn't have multiple android version support, but I find it way more stable and reliable, especially when writing with Google stuff. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's for sure, Google APIs are non existent on Genymotion n it become a PITA if that's core of your app. But for the app I develop that's just login option n one fragment with optional Google maps, it does the job fine.
    But the original OP seems more interested to play games on his tablet, not development anyway. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've been away for a bit but isn't this the first actual L emulator image? I think when L preview launched you could only test on a Nexus 5 and 7. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nope. Since the announcement of L preview with the images for N5 and N7 there was also an L emulator for developers. The news here is the "x86-64" bit. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What I'm probably remembering is that I could never get the emulator to work on Windows 8...
  • Why would you want a 64 bit emulator for ARM? Emulating a 64 bit processor on a 32 bit ARM chip will be slow, defeating the point of the 64 bit optimizations. And if you have a 64 bit ARM chip, you would be better off running Android directly sans emulation. Or am I missing something? Posted via Android Central App
  • App testing to make sure that your apps are compatible. Nothing else.
  • You haven't read his post. Emulating 64bit apps on arm32 would be silly.
  • The emulator is a developer tool that emulates a full complete hardware and software stack. Performance was never a priority of it. The priority always been to make it behave as closely as possible to a real device in terms of coding. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Okay, but developers don't normally do actual development on ARM devices though, do they? Posted via Android Central App
  • You are not alone, that's exactly what i was thinking, i don't think emulators like this are meant for anything else than test your apps on a pc...
  • App developers do, but not on a long term basis. Usually in the early stages where you don't have anything up yet and would like to see it work on a reference device.
  • Huh? That's how they design chips in the first place. It's expensive to build something physically then you find out oh crap there's a bug there. Now you've just wasted a bunch of dollars on a paper weight. It doesn't have to be full speed in emulators. You're thinking more of the practical aspects from a user point, not a app or chip designer.
  • But the purpose of this emulator isn't for designing new chips. Posted via Android Central App
  • It's a 64 bit emulator for x86. Android L will be running the new Android Runtime (ART) which natively runs on 32 and 64 bit ARM, x86, and MIPS platforms. If you read the release information linked in the article you will see that the build target is x86_64, which is the platform the Android application will be running on natively.
  • ARM and Qualcomm will be pissed about this. Posted via Android Central App
  • Why is ARM pissed? 64bit ARM chips are due in the coming months Posted via Android Central App
  • While you are waiting for an official(or AOSP) 64bit emulator for ARM based processors, why not give this a try
  • Man I cant wait to get my hands on L. AC App via Nexus 5
  • this may sound interesting... arm64 bit emulator not available yet? yes and not! do you really need to way? not really