Google Play’s 64-bit transition to come into effect this August

“Games running on Unity 5.6 or older engines are being given an extension till 2021”

Google started informing developers about a transition to 64-bit support for Play Store by the end of 2017 and since their new policy comes into effect this August, the search giant has published a blog post detailing more information regarding the transition. Since 64-bit CPUs deliver faster, richer experiences for users and are more capable of integrating with future technologies, Google wants developers to publish 64-bit versions of their apps in addition to the 32-bit version. In order to work on future chips that only support 64-bit code, Play Store announced that apps using native code must provide a 64-bit version.

Staring August 1st 2019, the Play Console will require all new apps and app updates that include native code to provide 64-bit versions. However the company said that it’s not removing 32-bit support and will continue to support it in the future. “We are not making changes to our policy on 32-bit support. Play will continue to deliver apps to 32-bit devices. This requirement means that apps with 32-bit native code will need to have an additional 64-bit version as well,” Google wrote in the blogpost. Android has supported 64-bit CPUs since 5.0 Lollipop.

According to the company’s 64-bit requirement timeline, the new policy will be implemented in two phases with the first phase coming into effect on 1st August 2019 and the second on 1st August 2021. There is an exception to the first deadline for existing games that are running on Unity 5.6 or older engines. For these Google Play will continue to accept 32-bit only updates but only till 2021, post which Google Play will stop serving apps without 64-bit versions (including games built with Unity 5.6 or older)  on 64-bit capable devices. This is being done as Unity only recently began providing 64-bit support in versions 2017.4 and 2018.2.