Android’s new feature will allow you to get 60% of your storage free.

Google spent the last couple of years trying to solve the problem with Android apps taking too much space from smartphones. It now has a different approach.

Background

In a previous update, Android added the “suggestion feature” which gave options of infrequently used apps that should be uninstalled to free up space.

This was an upgrade that was necessary, but users may be forced to make difficult choices if they wish to remove apps from their system.

And it also meant developers faced higher uninstalls, possibly only because the user’s hardware lacked enough storage space. This is especially true for phones lower- and mid-range Android smartphones.

The new alternative

Android

Through a new update, Android could be helping users free up space through ‘archiving’ – a more effective approach where apps are partially rather than completely uninstalled.

Archiving, which preserves the user’s data but does not remove any app content, is better than uninstalling. Google claims that users will be able to temporarily recover 60% of the app storage by archiving.

The archived application remains on the device and can be restored as needed. If the user wishes, it should be brought back to life with all the user data.

It does this through archived Android Packages (APKs), which will be enabled in a future version of Bundletool – a tool that the Android Studio IDE, the Android Gradle Plugin and Google Play use to build an app bundle and convert it to APKs for devices.

Bundletool 1.10 will be the version that has the archiving function.

When will the archiving option be available?

Google android users won’t see the update until after 2022, notes Google. Details about how archiving works are expected to be revealed by then. However, developers can begin creating archived APKs immediately.

“As before, all APKs generated will be available to download and inspect through Generated APKs API or in Play Console under App Bundle Explorer. Since the functionality is open source, developers will be able to inspect the code, and other app stores can benefit from it too,” Google says.

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