Android 12 feature will free up storage space by hibernating apps

Android fans are looking forward to Android 12 when it launches, and some details on features for the coming operating system have been surfacing. One feature that was discovered in an APK teardown for Android 12 is an app hibernation feature. The hibernation feature is designed to automatically hibernate unused apps to free up space on the smartphone.

Storage space on Android devices isn't at as much of a premium as it is on iPhone devices, but any method of gaining additional storage is welcome. The app hibernation feature will delete temporary files from unused apps. Code for the hibernation feature wasn't available in either of the two publicly available Android 12 Developer Preview builds. However, it was in a leaked build found by XDA-Developers.

Android 12 appears to expand the "unused apps" concept that was first introduced with Android 11. The feature will also automatically revoke permissions for unused apps in addition to cleaning up its temporary files. XDA-Developers says that it could activate the new "Unused apps" section in the "App info" page for every application installed on the device.

The page contains a new "remove permissions and free up space" toggle that replaces the Android 11 "auto revoke permissions" toggle that was later renamed "remove permissions if app isn't used." The features are found under the App permissions sub-page of the App Info page.

The unused apps page appears under Settings – Apps and shows apps that haven't been opened in a few months. The description says the permissions have been revoked, notifications have stopped, and temporary files are deleted if the app isn't used for a few months. It's worth noting that the feature won't free up large amounts of storage space, but it should be particularly beneficial to Android users using low-end smartphones.