- A new app hibernation feature could be coming to a future version of Android.
- The feature aims to optimize unused apps for storage, but little else is known about it.
Update: January 19 2021 (1:23 AM ET): It looks like we know a little more about an upcoming App Hibernation feature recently added to the Android Open Source Project. XDA-Developers editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman reports that an appâ€™s cache will be cleared if itâ€™s put into App Hibernation.
Thereâ€™s no word if more storage clearing measures will form part of the hibernation feature, such as compressing a dormant app. But clearing the cache sounds like a good start, especially as some app caches can balloon to easily account for more storage space than the app itself.
Original article: January 12 2021 (5:57 AM ET): Weâ€™re almost due for the Android 12 developer preview, if last yearâ€™s timeline is anything to go on. Thereâ€™s no official word on user-facing features coming to the new Android update, but it looks like Google is working on one mysterious feature.
XDA-Developers reports that several code changes were submitted to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), with these changes referencing a so-called â€œapp hibernationâ€� feature.
â€œSystem service that manages app hibernation state, a state apps can enter that means they are not being actively used and can be optimized for storage,â€� reads an excerpt of a reference, according to the outlet.
What should you expect?
Thereâ€™s no word on exactly how this feature will work and what app hibernation actually entails aside from storage optimization. Itâ€™s also unclear whether the system will handle app hibernation automatically or whether users can select apps to hibernate.
For what itâ€™s worth, some Android OEMs prompt you to uninstall unused apps as part of system optimization functionality. Weâ€™ve also seen some manufacturers offer power-related functionality on a per-app basis, so you can restrict specific apps from launching/running in the background. Presumably apps that are hibernated are somehow compressed or cut down in size though (e.g. behaving more like a web app).
Weâ€™ve previously seen Google work on features in AOSP only for it to go missing from a subsequent Android release (e.g. desktop mode), so thereâ€™s no guarantee that app hibernation will come to Android 12. But weâ€™ll definitely be keeping an eye out for this feature when Android 12 developer previews go live.