Google is working on a new tool on Android that enables you to partially uninstall rarely used apps. The upcoming feature is capable of shrinking these applications down to about 60% of its actual size, therefore freeing up your mobile device’s internal storage capacity for other uses.
According to a recent blog post, Google is also creating a new type of app installer package that is specially designed for the tool, known as “archived APKs.” This new format is much smaller than traditional APKs, where it saves all of an app’s data in a compressed form until you decide to restore it.
Restoring an archived software will only require you to download a small number of files, which should be quicker than its initial installation. This acts as an alternative to fully uninstalling rarely used software on your mobile device – saving you the trouble of re-downloading large files when you need the app again, especially during situations where a Wi-Fi connection is unavailable. Pretty handy if you plan to take a break from certain space-consuming mobile games such as Genshin Impact or Call of Duty: Mobile.
Google did not reveal how the archived APK tool will be implemented on Android. If we were to speculate, the feature will likely be presented to users as an additional option when you choose to uninstall a supported app. On that note, it is worth keeping in mind that the tool may not be present on all Android apps, as Google noted that developers can choose to opt-out of archived APKs if they so wish.
That being said, the new tool will be provided to app makers together with the Bundletool 1.10 release, although it won’t be functional until archived APKs are rolled out to the public via an Android firmware update. In regards to the latter, the company added that the feature is expected to roll out “later in the year.”
(Source: Google [Android developers blog])