Developers targeting older Amazon Fire tablets (2012 and earlier) who are upgrading their Unity engines should be an aware of an important change in Unity’s Android support.
Beginning with Unity 5.6.0f3 and Unity 2017, the minimum Android OS version for running Unity games has been increased to 4.1 (Jellybean) or later. However, Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets made in 2012 and earlier have an Android version of 4.0.3 (2.3.3 in the case of the original Kindle Fire). As a result, any game made with the latest versions of Unity will not be compatible on Amazon tablets released in 2012 and earlier.
An abrupt loss of support for a game on a device can negatively impact customers, so we suggest the following transition steps when reducing device compatibility:
- Convert your game from single binary to multiple binary. Keep the previous version as the binary targeting 2011 and 2012 devices, and set your update as the binary targeting newer devices. Moving forward, you can simply update the binary targeting only newer devices while leaving the older version alone.
- If your game forces customers to update, but the update will not be compatible with these older devices, blacklist these older devices from the forced update and any future updates, so that customers can continue to play the game.
- Add a message inside the game notifying the customer that this game will no longer be receiving updates on those older devices. This will help customers know that they should not be concerned if they no longer see content updates.
Obviously, these steps are only applicable if the old version of the game is still playable. If not, then you should consider creating a “stub” app for the older versions, politely informing the player that the game is no longer functional, rather than forcing the player into an upgrade cycle that will never complete. You can always mention that the game is available on newer devices.
Older Amazon tablets still see quite an amount of use, and those customers can be some of the most dedicated players. By following these tips, the disruption for these important players can be kept to a minimum.