Oh snap! Godot 3.5 does not support Android API 33? (Resolved on 9/8)

Image credit: CookieAMA mobile app 

The deadline is approaching, all mobile apps in google play must target api level 33 by 8/31 or they will not be allowed to ship updates.  Godot is aware of the drop dead date yet there is no commitment to have an update for the 3.5 stable export templates in time.   'That's what open source is all about', we are all free to contribute. They have the fix implemented in version 3.6 and 'cherry picked' for version 3.5.3 but are not yet committing to release either before the deadline.

In case Godot doesn't release the fix in time, the workaround seems relatively simple by setting the target SDK to 33 in the android export dialog.  It will give you a warning 'target sdk 33 is higher than the default 32.  This may work, but wasn't tested and maybe unstable.'   We tested it and our apps work fine, phew~  There are only a handful devices in the market with Android 13 installed and more difficult and expensive to find them on device farm for stability and regression testing.   We wish Google would have given enough notice for the Godot folks to integrate and test API level 33 without risking developers breaking play store compliance.

Godot is an excellent choice for mobile gaming development.  However, keep in mind they have been focusing on Godot 4.X and competing with Unity in 3D desktop gaming, the prime video game market with the highest revenue stream.  I wish they could see their potential in mobile gaming being lightweight without inflating asset size like Unity.   Desktop gaming is more in demand with much higher profit margins undoubtedly and most Godot users focus on desktop.  We can't blame them for deprioritizing mobile support.   It is a market decision, that's all. 

8/27  No word from godot and a quick update, unfortunately some have already reported breaking in production on Android 13 just by setting the target SDK to 33.  While they were not godot related,  make sure to test on Android 13 especially with 3rd party dependencies.  Don't go brave and test your luck.  

8/31  It is official there is no Android 13 support in time from Godot to meet the google play store deadline.

9/8  Godot released support for targeting Android API 33 officially.  It is better late than never 😀.