Lawnchair 2 app drawerSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google may finally add an app hibernation feature to Android this year.
  • A code change recently submitted to AOSP suggests the feature will arrive with Android 12.
  • The first Android 12 Developer Preview is likely to be released next month.

In little over a month from now, Google is expected to release the very first Android 12 Developer Preview. While Google hasn't confirmed any details yet, the folks over at XDA Developers have found evidence that suggests Android 12 could introduce a new app hibernation feature.

As per a few code changes submitted to AOSP, Google has started working on an app hibernation system service "that manages app hibernation state, a state apps can enter that means they are not being actively used and can be optimized for storage."

Sadly, however, the code changes do not reveal exactly how the feature will work. It remains to be seen if users will be allowed to choose the apps that they want to hibernate manually, or if it will be automatically determined based on app usage statistics. What also remains unclear is how hibernated apps will be "optimized for storage." It is possible that the APK file and other resources of the hibernated apps will be compressed in order to free up space.

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As noted by XDA Developers, however, the commits haven't been merged yet, which means there is no guarantee that the feature will be coming to Android 12. If Google does plan to add the feature to Android 12, more code changes related to app hibernation will likely be submitted to AOSP very soon.

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