Android 15 is still months away, but one of its new features has recently surfaced. Reportedly, users will be able to archive an app to save space on their smartphone, instead of completely uninstalling it. This app archiving feature is currently available in Google Play Store, for apps downloaded through the marketplace. However, there is no manual control, and apps downloaded from other app marketplaces do not support it. This is why an operating system-level feature via Android 15 could be much more useful.

Spotted by Mishaal Rahman writing for Android Authority, the strings of codes for this feature were discovered in the Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 update which was released recently. Rahman was able to find “archive” and “restore” options and activate them, allowing him to use the feature even when it was officially not added. He, then, attempted to archive and restore an app and found that the feature automatically stored all the user data. Users will reportedly not have to sign in or fear losing any of the in-app data by archiving them.

In his experiment, Rahman archived his Uber app, which occupied 387MB of storage. After archiving it, the app size was reduced to just 17.64MB. A cloud icon also appeared on top of the app icon. Clicking on the app again began the downloading and installing process. Once it was installed, the cloud icon disappeared. Surprisingly, opening the app showed that his account was already logged in and all the saved locations were also present.

This feature is currently available in the Google Play Store and can be accessed by clicking on the profile icon > Settings > Automatically archive apps. However, as stated above, this setting will archive rarely used apps which were downloaded from Google’s app marketplace. This will neither let users manually archive an app nor does it support any apps downloaded from third-party sources.

Such a feature is useful when a smartphone is running on low storage and there is a need to make urgent space to install another app or to capture high-definition images or videos. Instead of uninstalling apps and going through the pains of reinstalling them and setting up their account (and losing some of the in-app data), users can simply archive some apps. Notably, Apple already offers this feature in iPhone and it is called App offloading. However, this also works automatically and does not give users granular control to choose which apps to archive.

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