Google has a new feature for Android users that will help them save storage space on their devices without having to uninstall apps. Known as Auto Archive, the tool automatically removes up to 60% of an app's storage space if it has not been used for a few months.
If it is an app the users want to keep – despite not using it often – Google says Auto Archive can help. While it reduces the storage space it still maintains the app data and icon. If the feature can do that, why not just do it for all apps?
Google points out that Auto-Archive is designed to make it easier for users to manage their storage space and avoid the hassle of uninstalling and reinstalling apps. The feature is available as an option when you go to install a new app. If you do not have enough space, select Auto Archive to show which older apps will be archived to create more space for the new app.
Archived apps will have a cloud icon on their icons, indicating that they are not fully installed on the device. Users can tap on the icon to redownload the app from the Google Play Store and resume using it with their personal data intact. Google says that archived apps will not appear in the recommended uninstall suggestions and will not lose their permissions.
Available on Android 6.0 with App Bundle Format
Developers must publish their apps with the App Bundle format in the Google Play Store to be eligible for Auto Archive. If you are unfamiliar with the format, it gives Google the ability to optimize and app and change the size of the app. This is done by only providing necessary operational resources. Google says apps using App Bundle are 15% lighter than regular applications on average.
Users will start seeing the new Auto Archive option on Android devices in the coming weeks. Although, you need to be running Android 6.0 or newer.
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