Google is looking to require developers to provide 64-bit versions of their app this year. The company first announced plans to require 64-bit versions in December of 2017, and now it’s getting one step closer to that goal.
By August 2019, Google will require developers to provide 64-bit versions in addition to 32-bit versions when publishing apps and app updates to the Google Play store. There will be an extension for 32-bit only updates on existing games until August 2021.
By August 2021, Google will no longer offer 64-bit versions on 64-bit capable devices, the company explained, “meaning they will no longer be available in the Play Store on those devices.”
“64-bit CPUs deliver faster, richer experiences for your users. Adding a 64-bit version of your app provides performance improvements, makes way for future innovation, and sets you up for devices with 64-bit only hardware,” Vlad Radu, product manager for Google Play, and Diana Wong, product manager for Android, wrote in a blog post.
Google noted the requirement will include Unity 5.6 or older games, but will not apply to APKs or app bundles targeting Wear OS or Android TV. It will also not apply to APKs or app bundles not distributed to devices running Android 9 Pie or later. In addition, the company doesn’t have any plans to change its 32-bit support policy and will continue to deliver apps to 32-bit devices. However, 32-bit native code applications will require an addition 64-bit version.
In order to prepare developers, Google has provided documentation for developers, and a APK Analyzer to inspect APKs and app bundles.