Originally announced back in December 2017, Google has recently released more details about the 64-bit requirement coming to the Google Play store in August 2019. The company outlined a clearer timeline for the 64-bit transition through to August 1, 2021, including extensions for game developers that use Unity.
For now, Google Play will continue supporting 32-bit only apps, but come August 1, 2019, Google will require all 32-bit apps to have a 64-bit version when publishing it to the Google Play Store. This is due to Google requiring 64-bit apps in preparation for Android devices that will only support 64-bit code. However, this does not mean that the Google Play store will stop serving 32-bit apps, the Play Store will still continue to serve apps to 32-bit devices, but would only require these apps to have a 64-bit version too.
Google has provided ample time for mobile app developers to start developing 64-bit versions of their apps since this upcoming 64-bit requirement has been announce way back in December 2017.
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 gave some extra leeway for game developers using Unity as Unity has only enabled 64-bit support last year.
Please note that the new 64-bit app requirement does not apply to apps for Wear OS or Android TVs, since devices running these don’t support 64-bit code. It also doesn’t apply to apps that are not distributed to devices running Android 9 Pie or later.
Image Source: Google, PCWorld