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Google has introduced a new feature that is similar to Apple’s “Offload Unused Apps” feature. With this new feature, users can opt to offload the apps that they don’t use often, which is similar to how “offload app” feature works on iOS.

How would it help developers?

Allowing users to offload or archive the app instead of uninstalling it would ensure that users can simply free up space without completely uninstalling the app. Users often uninstall the app whenever they have less storage on their devices, so this feature could lower the uninstall rate. However, it is important to understand how to implement auto-update.

How would this be implemented?

The auto-archive feature will enable users to automatically free up to 60% of an app’s storage space without removing other apps. Similar to iOS’s offload apps feature, once the app is auto-archived, a user can simply click on the app and get it back with all their settings. Essentially, the app remains on their device, but up to 60% of the app’s data would be offloaded if the user is not using that app and if there is not enough available storage on the device.

Currently, this feature is only available for developers who use a bundle to publish the app. If your app supports archiving, users will be less likely to see it among the uninstall suggestions if the user’s device is running low on storage.

How will Google ask users to opt-in for auto-archive?

Currently, there are two ways that a user can opt-in for auto-archive:

  1. During the installation of a new app when the device is out of storage
  2. A pop-up window will appear and prompt the user to opt-in.
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Once a user opts-in, unused apps will be auto-archived to free up space for new app requests.