From August 1, 2019, all new apps and app updates that include native code submitted by developers to Google Play must include a 64-bit version in addition to 32-bit versions.
Android and Google Play managers in announcing the Play Store’s roadmap added that 32-bit only updates for existing games using Unity 5.6 or older will be accepted until August 2021. After August 1, 2021, Google Play will no longer serve apps without 64-bit versions to 64-bit capable devices.
The requirements notably exclude APKs and app bundles for Android TV and Wear OS as those platforms don’t currently support 64-bit code. The changes also do not apply to APKs and app bundles that aren’t distributed on devices running Android 9 Pie or later, we’re told.
Google points out that it is not making any changes to its policy on 32-bit support and that the Play Store will continue to deliver apps to 32-bit devices.
Google first rolled out support for 64-bit processors in Android 5.0 Lollipop in late 2014. It wasn’t until December 2017, however, that the company alerted developers about upcoming 64-bit requirements.
The search giant anticipates that for most developers, the path to 64-bit should be pretty straightforward. Apps written entirely in non-native (think Java or Kotlin) are already ready for 64-bit devices and do not require any code changes. Those who are unsure if their app uses native code can consult Google’s 64-bit guide for further assistance.
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