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Android 8.1 Appears Set to Reduce Inactive App Size, Saving Device Storage

Android 8.1 Appears Set to Reduce Inactive App Size, Saving Device Storage
  • The new feature spotted in AOSP
  • It is likely to be available in final build
  • The feature saves storage by tagging apps as inactive

Google is likely to fix one of the biggest storage issues on its Android devices with a new feature in Android 8.1 Oreo. A piece of code in the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) framework hints at a new space-saving feature. According to the code first spotted by XDA-Developers, Android 8.1 will make apps inactive that haven't been used in a while.

The company is stressing on a feature which will "Reduce app size by downgrading inactive apps" as spotted in the code. The company last month made available the Android 8.1 Developer Preview for compatible Pixel and Nexus devices. The feature is most likely to tag apps as "inactive" which haven't been used for some time and will reduce app size.

The source code describes the new inactive app feature, saying it will trigger when the device has low space. Active apps are those that have recently been active in either the foreground or background, or even when used by other apps. Apps inactive for a certain number of days are then downgraded. "In Android 8.1, applications marked "inactive" aren't run through dexopt, the Android tool that optimizes .dex files to produce an .odex file," explains the XDA-Developers post. This action results in the apps taking up less space in the compiler's cache.

Announced recently, the Android 8.1 Developer Preview brings a ton of changes. Android 8.1 will allow apps to make only one notification alert sound per second which will not affect other aspects of notification behaviour and notification messages still post as expected. The Settings page will also receive a refresh and will sport coloured navigation bar. Another minor change is icon for Android System notifications which usually notifies updates on the device. A major upgrade is coming to Bluetooth setting which will now show battery level in Quick Settings which means you can view connected Bluetooth accessory battery level from the Quick Settings toggle. The Android 8.1 Developer Preview also introduces a new Search bar on top of the Settings page which was so far limited to the new Pixel devices.


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