Save space on your Android phone by compressing apps rather than uninstalling

Google Play Games

However much storage you have on your phone, the sheer size of apps and games now available, coupled with the number of photos the average person takes, means that it is surprising just how quickly you can start to run out of space.

Traditionally, the solution to this problem has been to trawl through the photo gallery, deleting any snaps that are not really needed, as well as deciding which apps you can live without. But now Google has come up with another option that developers can implement: app compression or archiving.

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Google recently shared news of the upcoming feature in a blog post, with Lidia Gaymond and Vicki Amin, Product Managers at Google Play, revealing that it will enable users to regain around 60 percent of app storage.

The compression of app is only meant to be a temporary measure, and it is not possible to use apps while they are compressed. In the blog post, Google says:

Archiving is a new functionality that will allow users to reclaim ~60% of app storage temporarily by removing parts of the app rather than uninstalling it completely. An archived app will remain on the device and can easily be restored to the latest available compatible version, whilst preserving the user data.

With the release of the upcoming version of Bundletool 1.10, we are taking the first step toward making archiving available to all developers using App Bundles. For apps built with the Android Gradle Plugin 7.3, we will start generating a new type of APK - archived APKs. Archived APKs are very small APKs that preserve user data until the app is restored. While we will start creating archived APKs now, they won’t be functional until the archiving functionality is launched to consumers later in the year.

The company adds: "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".

Image credit: ECO LENS / Shutterstock

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