Taking the next step in the ever-running race to maintain a high degree of security and performance in Android apps, Google announced this week that starting from August 2019, only 64-bit apps will be allowed in the Google Play store.
The company sent out an explanation via its Android Developers Blog saying “64-bit code typically offers significantly better performance for apps that use native libraries since it comes with additional registers and new instructions.”
Google says it’s prepping its ecosystem with this move in the hopes of future Android versions that will support 64-bit apps exclusively. Meaning that if your app has a 32-bit library, you’ll soon have to include a 64-bit alternative for it, either packaged with the same APK or as a part of any of the multiple APKs you’ll submit to the Play Store.
This decision means that most developers will have to rework their apps in order to avoid a ban and remain in the Play store ranks. All this with the hope that it’ll lead to a more secure and efficient App store environment in the near future.
Soon, apps will come equipped with a type of metadata that will serve to distinguish authorized apps from fraudulent ones coming from the Play store. You can read all about these developments as well as the detailed new target API level requirements (coming into effect in late 2018) right here.
For comparison’s sake, Apple stopped supporting 32-bit apps with the introduction of iOS 11 in the fall of 2017.