Google published a post on the January 16 on Android Developers Blog in which it makes some new announcement of a few new requirements that app developers should follow in the future in terms of 64-bit applications and games.
The announcement made on August 1, 2019:
Google announced that stated that all new apps and updates should have 64-bit versions. And also 32-bit versions for publishing to Google Play.
Google is offering an extension to games that operates on the Unity 5.6 engine on 32-bit only updates until August of 2021, to support this. Google has also introduced a few things to support this change.
It has announced that Google Play will not serve any app without 64-bit versions on 64-bit capable devices by 2021. This means they will no longer be available in the Play Store on those devices.
This change will impact games built with Unity 5.6 or older.
The question is why Google pushing for these changes? The answer is quite simple!
64-bit processors are much faster and more powerful compared to 32-bit ones, and by requiring developers to offer 64-bit versions of their apps, users would be assured that they’re having the best gaming experience available with any app or game they download.
If you’re not aware of if your phone has a 64-bit processor or not. Chances are it has. Qualcomm’s first 64-bit chip was released in 2015 with the Snapdragon 810 and 808 platforms. If you have purchased your phone in 2015 or after this year; it is likely that it is based on a 64-bit. So, rest assured if you have purchased your phone after 2015, this update will not impact your device anyways.
The Story behind this Announcement
A year ago, Google gave Android app developers a green signal about a new 64-bit requirement coming to the Google Play store in August 2019. Now it has detailed out about its 64-bit transition. As per this announcement; Google Play will continue its support 32-bit apps for now, but from August 1, 2019, all 32-bit apps should have a 64-bit version also.
From August 1, 2020, Google will support only new apps and app updates with 64-bit versions as and also 32-bit versions when publishing to Google Play.
This is also applicable to apps written in C or C++ code and also to apps with third-party libraries. It will not apply to many apps written in Java or Kotlin.
Developers can submit a 32-bit update only for existing games until August 2021 if it is using Unity 5.6 or older.
Google Play will not support 64-bit capable devices from 1st, August 2021
From August 1, 2021, Google Play will not support apps without 64-bit versions on 64-bit capable devices. Users with 64-bit devices will not see 32-bit only apps in Google Play, including games built with Unity 5.6 or older.
This does not mean Google is changing its policy on 32-bit support. It would continue to deliver apps to 32-bit devices. Given this requirement, apps with 32-bit native code must have an additional 64-bit version as well.
This new rule won’t apply to apps for Wear OS or Android TV. It’s not applicable to apps that are not released on devices using Android 9 Pie or later.