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Android to require 64-bit apps

Richard Russell
 

How quickly things change.  Only recently I listed Android as the remaining OS, apart from Windows, likely to continue supporting 32-bit apps in the medium term.  However Google have announced that from August 2019 that will no longer be the case - although a 32-bit build can be supplied in the 'bundle' it will be compulsory to include a 64-bit version.  So within the next 12 months the three main 32-bit SDL 2.0-based cross-platform editions of BBC BASIC (Linux x86, Mac OS, Android) will all fail to install on the latest versions of OS for those platforms.  :-(

Richard.

R NBW
 

There seems to be a lot of confusion about it, but it seems as though this is the way that Google are going with Google Play apps.  For developers, it seems that they need to set to sdk_<23 if they want to avoid the problem.  I suspect that this won't be acceptable to apps in Google Play, but it might be for apps from other sources.

I'm no expert on this but have read the following source:

https://www.b4x.com/Android/forum/threads/new-google-requirements.87455/#post-553339

The unfortunate thing about Android is that users are very dependent on manufacturers to update their services and historically they have been slow to do so.  In many cases, they just don't.  Google are aiming at Android 8 (and then above).  My tablet (Samsung Galaxy S2) is not very old and has only been updated to Android 7 in the last few months.  My phone is Android 6.  This it's a fairly recent update and I suspect that it will be the last.  It strikes me that a lot of updated apps won't work on these devices.  Out Google is trying to get people to buy new devices to run the updated apps, they may get a surprise.  I certainly don't have hundreds of pounds to spend on a new phone or tablet, so I'll make do with what I've got.



Sent from Samsung tablet.

-------- Original message --------
From: Richard Russell <news@...>
Date: 24/12/2017 12:20 pm (GMT+00:00)
To: bb4w@groups.io
Subject: [bb4w] Android to require 64-bit apps

How quickly things change.  Only recently I listed Android as the remaining OS, apart from Windows, likely to continue supporting 32-bit apps in the medium term.  However Google have announced that from August 2019 that will no longer be the case - although a 32-bit build can be supplied in the 'bundle' it will be compulsory to include a 64-bit version.  So within the next 12 months the three main 32-bit SDL 2.0-based cross-platform editions of BBC BASIC (Linux x86, Mac OS, Android) will all fail to install on the latest versions of OS for those platforms.  :-(

Richard.

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 10:32 am, R NBW wrote:
It strikes me that a lot of updated apps won't work on these devices.
Assuming the app still contains a 32-bit edition, I can't see this being a problem.  They are only mandating that a 64-bit edition be included, not that 32-bit editions be removed!  Currently the BBCSDL Android app contains a 32-bit x86 edition (which won't run on anything later than Android Lollipop, because of the PIC requirement) and a 32-bit ARM edition.  However the build tools I use are obsolete and almost certainly wouldn't allow me to include a 64-bit edition, even if I had one.  There have been many reports at the SDL forum of problems with more modern Android tools.

One thing that can be concluded from the Google announcement is that if I do create a 64-bit version of BBC BASIC it will need a 64-bit ARM assembler.  This should be very straightforward for anybody familiar with the ARM approach to instruction encoding, so can I formally ask for somebody please to write such an assembler?  This is in a different league from the x86-64 assembler which, whilst it should be within the capabilities of any competent BBC BASIC programmer, cannot be described as easy!

Richard.