Google is continuing its effort to supporting only 64-bit operating systems and applications. The company first announced its plan at the end of last year, but as the timeline moves closer it is giving developers new updates so they can prepare.

According to the Android team, with its recent Project Marble efforts the team has been able to provide new features and performance improvements to its Integrated Development Environment. Because of that, the team believes only supporting 64-bit operating systems and applications will provide a smoother developer experience when working with the IDE and Android Emulator.

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The first step will be to deprecate the 32-bit versions of Android Studio and Android Emulator. During this process, the products will continue to work, but will not receive any new updates. After one year, the company plans to officially end product support and remove the 32-bit versions as well as download links. At this time, for developers still using the 32-bit version, the products should still work, but there will not be re-download links available.

Android Studio IDE 3.6 deprecation will start on December 31, 2019, and end of support will be on December 31, 2020. Android Emulator 28.0.25 will deprecate on June 30, 2019 and end of support will be on December 31, 2020.  

Sam Lin, product manager for Android, explained the benefits of a 64-bit development environment includes the ability to perform better with more access to memory; ability to build 64-bit versions of apps using C/C++ native code; and ability to test easier on emulators.

“Before ending support for the 32-bit version of Android Studio, we want to inform you in advance, provide guidance, and allow for a one-year lead time to help you migrate to a 64-bit operating system. You can still use 32-bit versions of Android Studio, but be mindful that these version will not receive future updates. Therefore, if you want to migrate we suggest you start planning early so that you can continue to get the latest product updates and take advantage of the performance improvements of a 64-bit development environment,” Lin wrote in a post.