Android 15 is months away, but one of its new features has recently surfaced. Users will reportedly be able to back up an app to save space on their smartphone instead of uninstalling it completely. This app backup feature is currently available on the Google Play Store for downloaded apps. However, there is no manual control and apps downloaded from other app markets do not support it. That’s why an OS-level feature via Android 15 could be much more useful.

Spotted by Mishaal Rahman writing for Android Authority, the code strings for this feature were found in the Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 update that was released recently. Rahman was able to find the “backup” and “restore” options and enable them, allowing him to use the feature even when it wasn’t officially added. He then tried backing up and restoring an app and found that the feature automatically saved all user data. Users will reportedly not have to log in or fear losing some of the data in the app by backing it up.

In his experiment, Rahman backs up his Uber app, which takes up 387MB of storage space. After backing it up, the app size was reduced to just 17.64 MB. A cloud icon also appeared at the top of the app icon. Clicking on the app again started the download and installation process. After it was installed, the cloud icon disappeared. Surprisingly, opening the app showed that his account was already logged in and all saved locations were also present.

This feature is currently available on the Google Play Store and can be accessed by clicking the profile icon > Settings > Automatic application backup. However, as stated above, this setting will back up rarely used apps that are downloaded from the Google App Market. It will neither allow users to manually back up an app, nor will it support apps downloaded from third-party sources.

Such a feature is useful when a smartphone is running low on storage space and needs to urgently free up space to install another application or capture high-resolution images or videos. Instead of uninstalling apps and going through the hassle of reinstalling them and setting up your account (and losing some of the app data), users can simply back up some apps. It should be noted that Apple already offers this feature in the iPhone and it is called Unloading the application. However, this also works automatically and doesn’t give users granular control to choose which apps to back up.

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