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Android 12's hibernation mode will let you put unused apps to sleep

Android 11 for OnePlus Nord
(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Even though we saw the latest Android 11 operating system introduced in September 2020, it is present in a handful of devices and most 2020 flagships are running on Android 10 operating systems.

And while OEMs are still working out a roll-out plan for Android 11, Google has already started testing out features for Android 12 and the Developer Preview may be out in a month.

Hence the good folks at XDA-developers have been in the lookout to spot the features that could form the core of Google’s next operating system. One such code change made to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit, that is used to list out all the changes made to the Android Project in real-time, suggests that Google is planning to introduce a Hibernation feature to optimize storage.

Android 12

(Image credit: XDA Developers)

With the limited information that we have, it seems that this feature will put applications that are not being actively used, to a hibernation state in order to free up space. The Gerrit entry defines this feature as the one, “that manages app hibernation state, a state apps can enter that means they are not being actively used and can be optimized for storage.”

At this point, while we would love to know additional details of this feature like will it be an auto-triggered activity or user-controlled. Further, if it is automatic, will the app usage statistics trigger the hibernation mode? And many more questions that need an answer but we do not have a clue as to what Google is planning with this feature and how it will be implemented.

The folks at XDA guess that it could be an automatic process “like the auto-revoking permissions feature introduced in Android 11 and that optimization involves compression of the APK and other app resources.” However, even they’re unsure if this feature will make it to the final list of features for Android 12, hence it would be too risky to comment.

That said, since we are seeing app sizes especially mobile games, increasing in bulk with each iteration, this feature could be worth its weight in gold if implemented correctly and users who have been complaining about their devices running out of space often, may breathe a sigh of relief. But, let us wait for a few more days, as we may just be a month away from the announcement of Android 12 Developer Preview which is when we will get more information on this feature.

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