Auto-archive will archive the least used apps rather than completely uninstalling them from the Android smartphone.

Abhik Sengupta

New Delhi,UPDATED: Apr 11, 2023 11:57 IST

By Abhik Sengupta: Google has introduced a new feature to help users manage storage on their Android smartphones efficiently. The new feature, dubbed auto-archive, will archive the most used apps rather than completely uninstalling them from the device. Google notes that users have to opt-in to use this memory management feature. The benefit of auto-archive is that it can help users automatically free up to nearly 60 per cent of an app’s storage space without removing the app’s presence or users’ data from the device. It can be highly useful on entry-level smartphones that typically offer 64GB of storage. Even phones with 128GB of internal storage may benefit from this option as apps and camera files occupy a lot of space on the device.

Google has not specified when the option will be available on Android smartphones. The auto-archive is only available for developers using the “App Bundle” to publish their apps. It means apps installed via public APKs won’t be archived. Auto-archive is only available for developers using the App Bundle to publish their apps.

Android users will see the prompt to enable auto-archive when the device is out of storage. In a blog post, the company notes a pop-up window will appear asking if the user wants to enable auto-archive. It adds, “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.”

Once the app is auto-archived, users will see a little “cloud” icon, indicating that the app needs to be re-downloaded from the Google Play app store. As mentioned, users’ data on the app is not affected. Therefore, users can resume using the app from they left as long as the app is still available on Google Play. This saves the hassle of logging in again, or restarting a game which you once enjoyed playing.

The blog post does not clarify the time period after which the app becomes eligible for auto-archive. The post reads, “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.”

Currently, Apple does not offer a similar feature on its Apple iPhones and iPads, which could be highly useful. Apple does not offer users the option to expand the storage with external drivers. The only solution for a user is to buy a more expensive iPhone/iPad with higher inbuilt storage. However, the company has announced the date for its next WWDC event, which starts on June 5. At the event, the company will unveil the next-gen iOS 17, and we can expect better storage management features.

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