Google has provided further details on the upcoming requirement for Android apps on the Play Store to have 64-bit versions.
The company first announced the change in late 2017, providing ample preparation time.
Android itself has supported 64-bit since 5.0 (‘Lollipop’) while the Play Store has required apps using native code to provide a 64-bit version in addition to 32-bit.
Starting August 1, 2019:
- All new apps and app updates that include native code are required to provide 64-bit versions in addition to 32-bit versions when publishing to Google Play.
- Extension: Google Play will continue to accept 32-bit only updates to existing games that use Unity 5.6 or older until August 2021.
Starting August 1, 2021:
- Google Play will stop serving apps without 64-bit versions on 64-bit capable devices, meaning they will no longer be available in the Play Store on those devices.
- This will include games built with Unity 5.6 or older.
Google says the Play Store will continue delivering apps to 32-bit devices but the change requires a 64-bit version to also be available.
64-bit CPUs deliver faster, richer experiences for users. The change is in preparation for upcoming 64-bit-only chips.
Several exceptions are in place. APKs which target Wear OS or Android TV do not require 64-bit versions as supported devices are not yet available. Finally, apps that are “not distributed to devices running Android 9 Pie or later” also can be exempt.