The iterative stock Android updates don’t bring forth many conspicuous features, but they sure add a tonne of performance optimizations and refinements.
We already know about the changes like dimming navigation bar, Bluetooth device battery indicator, customizable UI theme, and others that made it to the Android 8.1 Oreo update that started rolling out in late October. Now folks at XDA have also discovered a new commit that should help maintain performance on affordable phones with limited storage or with low remaining storage.
How Does it work?
Android 8.1 Oreo will automatically reduce the size of apps that you don’t use frequently. The system will detect apps you haven’t used in a while and mark them as ‘Inactive’. The duration will be defined by sysprop pm.dexopt.unopt_after_inactive_days field in the operating system.
These apps won’t take up space in Dalvik Compiler’s cache. This will in turn reduce the space they occupy.
There are limitations, though
This is something that will have an impact but don’t expect anything drastic. Besides, the Android 8.0 Oreo is currently running only on 0.3 percent of Android phones and Android Nougat just sprang past the 20 percent landmark. The point being, baring those who own a Google or Android One phone, most users won’t get Android 8.1 Oreo or benefit from the change anytime in the foreseeable future.
And even if you do get Android 8.1 Oreo, your OEMs will have to manually enable it (And there are every chances that they might not).
Having said that, It’s assuring that Google is working on these minor performance enhancements that will certainly add up to a better and more fluid Android experience on affordable phones.