A new mechanism in Android 8.1 that frees up space by reducing application cache sizes.

With Google’s most recent release of its smart storage management app Files Go, it’s apparent that Google intends to make storage a pain point of the past.

“Android Open Source Project (AOSP) framework describes a space-saving feature that triggers automatically when a device is running low on space. After a length of time specified by Android’s sysprop pm.dexopt.unopt_after_inactive_days field, applications that haven’t been used in a while are marked as inactive by Android and downgraded.”

It means the new feature that would automatically flag apps as “inactive” and deprioritizes the generation of cache files for the particular app.

Android 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.

Besides that, OEMs need to enable this feature for the device to take advantage of it. As many OEMs are still in the testing stages of Android Oreo 8.0, it might be a while before devices take advantage of 8.1.

We can see Google’s intention, but the reality is that we may not see its benefits until one or two years down the road.