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Android Is Developing New APK with Bundletool to Archive Apps to Save Storage Space

Instead of deleting an app, users will be able to ‘archive’ it

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Google is developing a feature on Android that will allow users to “archive” specific apps to save up space on their smartphones. Google notes in a blog post that any app with the functionality will allow you to partially remove it, downsizing the app by around 60% without totally uninstalling it.

The tool accomplishes this by developing a new sort of APK (Android Package) known as archived APKs, which are the guts that make an app usable on your device.

According to Google, archived APKs are substantially smaller and keep all of your data until you restore it (restoring it to its original size). The capability will be accessible to developers with the Bundletool 1.10 release, but it will not be usable until Google makes the feature available to the general public “later this year.” Developers may also opt out of archived APKs, which Google discusses in the blog post.

There are no details on how the capability will appear on Android, although it will most likely come amongst the options while long-pressing the app’s icon to uninstall the individual app.

The company said, “Once implemented, archiving will provide significant benefits to both consumers and developers.” Instead of deleting an app, users will be able to ‘archive’ it, freeing up space temporarily and allowing them to swiftly and easily re-activate the app.”

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