Google is working on a feature that will allow Android users to archive apps and free up space on smartphones. Any app that will feature the archive option will be partially uninstalled by shrinking it to about 60 percent without deleting it entirely.
Google will achieve this by introducing archived APKs, a new sort of APK (Android Package) that contains the code that allows an app to run on your device. According to Google, archived APKs are much smaller and save all of your data until you restore it, restoring it to its original size.
The feature will be accessible to developers with the Bundletool 1.10 release, but will only be usable once Google releases it later in the year. Google also says that developers will also be able to opt-out of archived APKs.
It is still not clear how the feature will be activated by Android users, but the Verge speculates that it could come as an option alongside the uninstall option when you long-press an app’s icon. However, the option might be handy for users who don’t want to uninstall particular apps despite not using them often. Most people are forced to delete these apps due to phone storage issues and shrinking them will definitely address the problem.
Archiving and restoring should be easier and even cheaper for mobile data users as they will need less bandwidth compared to when installing an app afresh.