Remember the clunky dance of uninstalling and reinstalling apps just to free up space? Google Play’s app archiving feature offered a much-needed solution, but its limitations left users wanting more. However, this won’t be for too long, at least according to renowned Android expert Mishaal Rahman. Apparently, Android 15 seems poised to bridge the gap with native app archiving, promising a seamless, system-wide approach to storage management.

Currently, the Play Store’s app archiving swaps bulky app files for a tiny “stub,” keeping your data intact. But this feature lives within the Play Store, inaccessible from the OS itself. With Android 15, Google is reportedly set to make app archiving native to the OS. Hints in the latest Android 14 QPR2 beta 2 update reveal new shell commands for archiving and unarchiving apps directly through the system. Currently, archiving an app completely removes it from the profile, but this could change in future so that the app’s icon remains in place for easy unarchiving. It’s also possible Google may add a dedicated button in Settings to allow users to either archive or uninstall apps.

App archiving in Google Play Store

With this change, Android users will enjoy a cleaner, more intuitive way to manage the app library. You can keep those nifty but rarely used apps around without sacrificing precious storage. And when you need them later, simply unarchive from your Settings and pick up where you left off.

Mishaal says the feature is currently hidden in the latest Android 14 QPR2 beta 2. But still, news of native app archiving potentially coming to Android 15 should be music to storage-conscious ears. With a dedicated button in Settings and a streamlined unarchiving process, managing your app library could become a breeze.

Hillary Keverenge
2097 Posts

Tech has been my playground for over a decade. While the Android journey began early, it truly took flight with the revolutionary Lollipop update. Since then, it's been a parade of Android devices (with a sprinkle of iOS), culminating in a mostly happy marriage with Google's smart home ecosystem. Expect insightful articles and explorations of the ever-evolving world of Android and Google products coupled with occasional rants on the Nest smart home ecosystem.

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