Google Will Soon Let Users ‘Archive’ Android Apps to Free up Storage

android app archive

Storage crunch on a smartphone, specifically on low-end models, is a legit thing and Google aims to solve it without the need for willingly removing apps. The company has announced that it will introduce a new feature that will let people “archive” apps to save some space on their smartphones. Here’s what this feature is all about.

Android App Archiving Coming to Phones This Year

In an official blog postGoogle reveals that app archiving will help free up 60% of the space on a smartphone that apps can occupy. It will be done by temporarily removing parts of the apps from the phone instead of fully removing those apps.

With this, Google will introduce a new Android package called archived APKs to save user data as long as an app is archived. You should know that the archived app will stay on your smartphone and can be easily restored if you change your mind and want to get it back in action.

This feature is similar to how iOS’ app-offloading functionality works. For those who don’t know, it allows users to offload an app and save some storage instead of uninstalling the app. It removes the app from the device but keeps all the data in place so that isn’t a hassle when a user reinstalls the app.

The feature is said to benefit both users and developers alike. As Google notes, “Once launched, archiving will deliver great benefits to both users and developers. Instead of uninstalling an app, users would be able to “archive” it – free up space temporarily and be able to re-activate the app quickly and easily. Developers can benefit from fewer uninstalls and substantially lower friction to pick back up with their favorite apps.

Google’s app archiving APKs have started reaching developers and the option to archive apps will reach the general audience by the end of this year† There are chances that it may be introduced with Android 13, which is currently in the Developer Preview phase

While the feature might not be needed for Android phones with at least 256GB of storage, it can definitely come in handy for affordable (mostly entry-level and old) devices that are usually low on storage. To know more about the feature and how it will work once launched, stay tuned to this space. Also, tell us your thoughts on the app archiving feature in the comments below!

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