Rejoice! Chrome for Android is going 64-bit! Don’t worry, you aren’t reading news from the past, this is actually a thing that’s happening in 2020, and, for some reason, not way sooner. Apple’s iOS has been fully 64-bit, third party apps included, for almost three years now, but things sometimes take much longer to develop in the Android world, even if we’re talking first-party apps that should serve as an example to third-party developers.
Anyway, the move is happening with Chrome release 85, which is due to hit the stable channel in August. Chrome 85 is currently in the Dev channel, while Chrome 86 (also 64-bit) can be found by downloading the Chrome Canary app. That is, of course, only if you want to live on the bleeding edge of bugginess, as these pre-release builds sometimes are.
If not, then you can just wait for Chrome 85 to hit stable and then you’ll be graced with all that 64-bit goodness. If you’re wondering what this is actually going to do for you in real life, well, it has the potential to make the browser ever so slightly faster. In fact, Android Police tested Chrome 83 (which is 32-bit) and Chrome 85 (64-bit) in the Octane 2.0 benchmark, and the 64-bit app took the lead with 16,785 points compared to 15,515.
Granted, that’s not a huge leap in performance, and it’s also impossible to tell if it’s all attributable to the move to 64-bit, but regardless, this was long overdue.
Google is mandating that all Play Store apps become 64-bit by August 1, 2021, so it’s good to see the company itself not waiting until the last minute to make such moves with its own apps.