To save storage, Android 12 will hibernate all the unused apps

In spite of the fact that Google did not disclose the new program code for new Android versions till the new Pixel phones are all set to launch, somehow, a sneak peek of upcoming key features is revealed via code changes presented to the AOSP Gerrit.

App hibernation was the function that has been expecting in new versions of Android phones for a long time. It works by removing all the temporary files that have been in the unused apps to free up the storage space for more important documents. Although, the app hibernation feature is not present in any of the two publicly available Developer’s sample. However, XDA claims that the code for this feature is available in the leaked version that they have found.

When the Android 11 Developer Preview 3 was released, Google introduced a new "auto revoke permissions" function, which automatically suspends an app's permission if it hasn't been used in a few months. When Android 11 was successfully launched, Google provided more insights into the functionality of the newly made feature, along with the screenshot of the notification showing the user when an app's permissions have been denied, as well as a screenshot of an “unused application” setting page including the list of apps that have been removed.

With the latest app hibernation function in Android 12, Google appears to be extending the definition of "unused applications." Along with suspending permissions for unused applications, Android 12 will also remove temporary files to make storage space available for other important documentations.

On the "App details" page for each app, a new “Unused apps” section has been updated which includes a new "delete permissions and free up room" button. In contrast, Android 11's "auto revoke permissions" toggle which was later changed to "delete permissions if software isn't used" can be noticed under the Apps permission subpage on app's "App Info" tab. The shift in locations justifies the new toggle as it offers permissions as well as storage.

The "unused applications" page display under Settings on “Apps” when few apps got hibernated. This page displays applications that haven't been used in a few months, and its explanation notes that if an app hasn't been used in a few months, permissions are withdrawn, alerts are disabled, and temporary files are deleted.

The app hibernation function, as per code changes discovered earlier this year, will clean the cache and/or remove compilation objects to free up more room. None of these activities would free up a lot of space, but the type of app being hibernated and the number of files present in that type will determine the free space. Owners of devices with less storage will get the most benefit of the feature.

Read next: Android 12 To Be Launched with Two New Features: A Trash Bin Option and Apps Translation
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