Storage space on smartphones which do not support microSD card has always been an issue. The Google Pixel from 2016 had 16GB of storage on its base model and it was a premium phone. This year, Google bumped it up to 64GB albeit, no storage expansion option. To tackle this issue, Google will introduce a new smart feature in Android 8.1 Oreo which will reduce the size of inactive apps.
The latest commit in Android’s AOSP framework mentions a new feature that would automatically flag apps as “inactive” and deprioritises the generation of cache files for that app. The phone will only consider an app as “inactive” if it hasn’t been recently used in the foreground and the app package isn’t being used by another app package in the background.
These apps marked as “inactive” won’t have cache files generated for them, thus reducing storage space.
While the feature is a welcome addition to growing smart things Android phones can do, we might have to wait a while till we see this getting implemented in more smartphones other than the Pixels and the Nexuses. Only 0.2% Android smartphones run Android 8.0 Oreo right now, hence seeing Android 8.1 Oreo in a wide range of phones might be some time away. Also, OEMs will have to enable their smartphones to take advantage of this feature.