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, alternative party apps included, for nearly three years now, but things sometimes just take much longer to develop in the Android world, even though 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 when you want to live on the bleeding edge of bugginess, as these pre-release builds sometimes are.
If maybe not, then you can just wait for Chrome 85 to hit stable after which you’ll be graced with all that 64-bit goodness. If you’re wondering what this is actually going to do for you in actual 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 is not a huge leap in performance, and it’s impossible to tell whether or not it’s all attributable to the move to 64-bit, but regardless, it was long overdue.
Google is mandating that all Play Store apps become 64-bit by August 1, 2021, so it’s good to start to see the company it self not waiting until the eleventh hour to make such moves with its own apps.