A perennial problem that smartphone users face is the lack of storage space on their devices. It is a common sight to see them uninstall apps to free up space, specially in Android phones. But now, Google has brought forth a new iOSeque auto-archiving feature to ensure that users do not have to uninstall the entire app or delete all of the app data.
The new auto-archiving feature, launched on Monday, is aimed at reducing “unnecessary uninstalls” and helping users to successfully install new apps, according to Google. In a post on the Android developers blog, the tech titan announced that it is designed to free up storage space without completely uninstalling applications from user devices.
It should be noted that this will work only as long as the app is still available on the Google Play Store. Furthermore, the auto-archive feature is only available for developers who are using the App Bundle to publish their apps. Once the user tries to install a new app when the device is out of storage, a pop-up window will show up asking if the user wants to enable the auto-archive feature. If the user opts in, unused apps on the user’s device will be auto-archived to free up enough space for a new app request.
“Your device is out of storage and you won’t be able to install this app. With app archiving turned on, your device will detect when you don’t have enough storage and automatically archive apps that you don’t use often. Your personal data will be saved in case you download the app again,” the prompt reads.
Once users opt-in, auto-archive can help them automatically free up to nearly 60% of an app’s storage space, without removing the app’s presence or the data of the user from the device. The apps in question are the ones that are used infrequently, whilst the app icon and the user’s personal app data will be preserved, Google said. The other things that will be removed include permissions, temporary files, and disabling notifications. If the user wants to start using the app again, all they have to do is simply tap to re-download it and pick up where they left off. Archived apps will display a little “cloud” icon that will be overlaid on the app icon, which indicates that the data needs to be re-downloaded.
The rolling out of the feature is long overdue, given that Google first teased it in May last year. It is expected that the auto-archiving feature will result in the fall of the uninstall rate of apps, and yet allow users to quickly download apps when they are needed. “Auto-archive is an easy way for users to manage their device storage, and a great way for developers to lower the likelihood of their apps being uninstalled,” Google wrote in the post.