It’s hard to believe, but when Android OS launched, it was a 32-bit operating system. It took quite a few major updates before Android OS supported 64-bit CPUs, and even now, support for 32-bit CPUs hasn’t been completely dropped. Read on below to find out more about what the first fully 64-bit compatible version of Android was.
What was the first version of Android to support 64-bit CPUs?
The first version of Android to support 64-bit CPUs was Android 5.0 Lollipop. Before that, Android devices were stuck on 32-bit chips, which signified a ceiling on performance and hardware specs. After Lollipop was released, we started seeing an increase in core counts and RAM that’s continued to this day.
The first Android device, the HTC Dream, released in 2008 with a single-core 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A ARM11 CPU and 192 MB of RAM. It’s hard to believe these paltry specs brought the dominant mobile OS to the masses for the first time and helped popularize smartphones. The 32-bit CPU was only a fraction as powerful as one of the multiple cores found on Android phones now, but it was enough to run Android 1.0.
HTC would later make history with another, more obscure Android device. The first 64-bit Android phone was the HTC Desire 510. This mid-range phone launched with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, but otherwise, its specs were middling. There weren’t any 64-bit applications to take advantage of its processor, and developers were slow to write 64-bit apps because of the huge amount of 32-bit Android phones on the market.
Though HTC was the originator of some important Android firsts, the company has reduced its output in the past few years. It still produces Android phones, but they’re being released in smaller markets and its latest, the HTC Desire 21 Pro 5G, isn’t officially available outside of Taiwan.