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Android 12 includes auto-hibernate feature for unused apps

Android 12 may automatically hibernate unused apps, freeing up phone storage. (Image via Android w/ edits)
Android 12 may automatically hibernate unused apps, freeing up phone storage. (Image via Android w/ edits)
XDA Developers discovered a new app auto-hibernate feature that automatically deletes temporary files and cached storage for unused apps. The feature also retains the auto-revoke functions of Android 11, which automatically revoke privileges for unused apps.
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Phone storage has always been a precious commodity, but a new feature coming in Android 12 may help alleviate the burden of managing your phone’s available space.

Android 11 introduced an “auto-revoke” feature that autonomously revoked privileges (e.g., access to user location, read/write access) for apps that had gone unused for three or more months. According to some exploration in an Android 12 development build, XDA Developers claims that the upcoming version of Android will take automatic revocation a step further.

The build allows the system to automatically “hibernate” apps that have gone unused for three or more months. This essentially clears the app’s temporary files and cache from the phone’s storage in addition to revoking privileges. App data appears to remain on the device, so the storage freed through the process is minimal. Still, any storage given back to the user (particularly those with low-end handsets) is a nice gift.

It should be noted that iPhones and iPads have had a similar feature since iOS 11 (2017). Apple’s iteration, dubbed “offloading,” deletes apps automatically if they haven’t been used for a while. Offloading retains user data for affected apps, similar to Android 12’s implementation.

It’s unsure at this point if the auto-hibernate feature will make its way into Android 12, as XDA was using a newer build than the currently available developer preview.

What are your thoughts about Android 12’s potential auto-hibernate features? Let us know in the comments.

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1131 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
contact me via: @samuel_medley
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 04 > Android 12 includes auto-hibernate feature for unused apps
Sam Medley, 2021-04-20 (Update: 2021-04-20)