Android 8.1 Oreo Shrinks Inactive App Cache To Save Storage, Flags Battery Hog Apps

If you're one of the lucky relative few who have Android 8.0 'Oreo' on their device, there are a couple of reasons to be pleased about its first major update, appropriately versioned 8.1. That's especially true if you happen to be using a device lacking storage, or simply hate battery-draining apps (and who doesn't?).

Storage space comes at a premium in smartphones, but if you're using a high-end device, chances are you're not feeling the same kind of pain that those using lower-end phones are. In today's landscape, even 8GB is a paltry amount of storage - the kind that prevents people from taking advantage of such luxuries as YouTube and Netflix offline viewing.

team pixel 2 phones thumb
Read our look at the Android 8.0-equipped Pixel 2 & 2 XL

In Android 8.1, an improvement to cache management will be introduced, effectively reducing the amount of space apps that are not used too often can hog. In effect, if you have an app installed, but it's rarely referenced, its cache will become marked as technically unimportant, automatically freeing up the space it was hogging.

For those with really limited storage devices, this change should be a much-appreciated one, since cleaning up manually, even for an experienced user, is tedious. It'd also prevent preinstalled apps you don't use from hogging additional storage, but that brings us to an even better possible solution: let people uninstall preinstalled bloatware, without hassle (please, Google?).

Android Cache Hog
Android 8.1 will ease the pain of clearing beefy inactive caches

Another nice feature coming to 8.1 is the ousting of apps that hog too much battery. Such features are available in Android right now, but figuring out why an app is draining more juice than it should is hard to pinpoint. Often, users will simply want to disable the app. Fortunately, that's what's improved here: if you have an app hogging battery, the device will become smart enough to know why, so once you tap on the warning, Android will tell you what you should do, even if it's as simple as disabling its notifications or polling rates.

Overall, two awesome features are coming to Android 8.1, which would have been really nice to see in 8.0. Oh well, at least it's en route now