Android 64-bit Requirements about to Change

Google recently made a blog post outlining a new requirement for any Android application written in native code to provide a 64-bit version by August 2019, only a few days away.  The requirement is only for those apps using native code and app developers should note that Kotlin/Java source code will not be affected.

The 64-bit CPUs deliver faster, richer experiences and it is imperative to understand the ramifications of this requirement.  Note that  Google is not making changes to 32-bit support.  Google Play will continue to deliver apps with 32-bit native code to 32-bit devices. The requirement means that those apps will need to have a 64-bit version as well.

There is plenty of prepared documentation on how to check whether your app already supports 64-bit and how to become 64-bit compliant.  Technoracle encourages all app developers to understand the requirements.  Briefly, here is a synopsis.

Starting August 1, 2019:

All new apps and app updates are required to provide 64-bit versions of any 32-bit native code they provide.

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. The requirement does not apply to:

  • APKs or app bundles explicitly targeting Wear OS or Android TV, which are form factors that do not currently support 64-bit code.
  • APKs or app bundles that Google Play won’t install on Android 9 Pie or later (support for 64-bit does not need to extend to APKs that are only on Android 8 Oreo and below).

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