Google is drawing the curtains on 32-bit only apps from 1 August 2019, as new applications or updates to existing applications that do not support 64-bit processors will not be allowed on the Play Store from that date.
It’s important to make the distinction here that 32-bit versions of apps will still be available, but they must also have a 64-bit version to accompany them. Google is steadily moving towards a model where Android devices will only support 64-bit code in the next couple of years - rather than attempting to directly stop 32-bit app production, Google is depreciating their value and incentivising developers to focus on 64-bit programs instead.
There is an exception to this rule regarding games developed using Unity 5.6 or older, which will still be able to receive 32-bit updates all the way up to August 2021. You will also still be able to download older versions of 32-bit applications if you so wish.
The timeline above shows Google’s plans regarding its movement towards a 64-bit only future, in August of 2021 users with 64-bit capable devices simply won’t be able to see 32-bit applications on the Play Store at all.
The original announcement for these plans was made back at the end of 2017 on the Android developer blog.
How can I tell if my phone is 32-bit or 64-bit?
The answer to whether your device is 32 or 64-bit comes down to your phone’s processor. The more modern your processor the more likely it will have 64-bit functionality. To check for sure, follow these quick steps:
- Head over to the app store and download and install the Antutu Benchmark app.
- Open it up, and head into the ‘Info’ tab which will be one of 4 options at the bottom of the app.
- Under the ‘Basic Info’ heading, a few options down on the left you’ll see a line with ‘Android’ on it. Look directly to the right and it will tell you which version of Android you’re running, as well as what bit your OS is (32-bit or 64-bit)