Android 7.1 Nougat Smart Storage free up space

The Android 7.1 update has arrived in developer preview form for anyone with a Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X or Pixel C and the desire to try it out. Among the pretty short list of new Android 7.1 Nougat features is a new tool in the settings called Manage Storage which is worth mentioning.

See also:

Here’s what you can do so far with Android 7.1’s app shortcuts

October 20, 2016

Manage Storage is, as you might suspect, a storage manager. It appears in the Storage section of Settings and provides you with two options: to manually free up space or to enable Smart Storage. While one might simply sound like an automatic version of the other, they actually do different things and work well in concert with one another.

Smart Storage

Smart Storage is essentially a Google Photos tie-in that automates the “free up space” option in that app. Enabling Smart Storage will automatically remove photos and videos from your device every 30, 60 or 90 days, but only once they have been backed up to the cloud in Google Photos.

It’s a simple option that saves you having to continually agree to the Photos prompt to free up space whenever your device storage is running low. But Smart Storage doesn’t automate all of your Android 7.1 storage solutions. There’s also a manual tool for clearing up space that works well as a complement to Smart Storage.

Android 7.1 Nougat free up space options

Manual cleanup

You’ll find the manual cleanup tool in Settings > Storage > Manage storage as well as in the overflow menu of the Storage section. Tapping “Free up space” generates a list of potential items for removal in a couple of categories, including photos and videos, downloads and apps.

You can choose to include or exclude any of these categories via the check boxes and expand them to drill down into your downloads or apps list. Simply select those files or apps you want removed and tap the free up space button. Once you’ve removed some content you’ll be prompted to enable Smart Storage which you can opt-in for if you haven’t already.

This storage optimization tool is just another of the many small additions in Nougat that really start to add up. There’s clearly a focus on automating tasks in Nougat, from seamless updates to setting notification priority to Doze Mode on the go. Storage management is just another way to improve your experience while still providing you with fine-grained control.

What is your favorite Nougat feature? What is Nougat still missing?

Kris Carlon
Kris Carlon is a Senior Editor at Android Authority. He is a half-British Australian who lives in Berlin, travels a lot and is always connected to a laptop, phone, smartwatch or tablet (and occasionally a book).
  • samsparkin

    Nice to see small improvements. Can anyone tell me if the mobile radio bug has been taken care of? How is the battery life with nougat? Marshmallow brought my S6 SOT from 4 hours to 2.5 to 3 hours!

    • TractorEngineer

      I got Nougat 7.0 a couple days ago on my Galaxy S7. I have not seen any impact on battery life. So far, it’s less-customizable than Marshmallow and I’m not liking that. For example, take Settings. In Marshmallow, I could take the 6 or so functions that I use the most and put them up front. Then when I need to access them, I could just open Settings and they’re right there. Not anymore, now I have to go hunt for them every time.

      With the custom quick settings up top, you used to be able to add and delete setting buttons on it to match your personal preference. Not anymore, all you can do is move them around. Deleting and adding new ones is no longer an option.

      I also don’t like how many screens are no longer displayed consistently with the theme that you’ve selected, all you get now is black letters on a white background.

      Bottom line: Nougat has more bling that I don’t care about and they’ve taken away a lot of your ability to customize. I don’t like that.

    • TractorEngineer

      One other thing I don’t like about Nougat is that managing and cleaning up storage used to be a hot-button at the bottom of My Files. Now it’s buried in some menu and you have to go hunt for it every time. Android’s Nougat 7.0 website claims that it’s more customizable than ever. I’m not seeing that. In fact, I’m having the opposite experience.

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    give my android 7.1 on nexus 9 best tablet ever

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