Google may let you manage hidden recycle bin in Android 12

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It appears that Google is preparing to add the recycle bin feature to Android devices, a feature that has long been part of traditional desktop operating systems.

XDA-Developers searched Android 12 code to reveal features that Google hasn’t officially announced yet, the latest of which is a line in the main settings app for the trash.

Last year, Google launched Android 11, which imposed major changes in the way apps access the device’s storage space, so that these changes significantly limit the amount of storage access that the app can get by default.

While certain applications, such as file managers, can request broad access to device storage space, other applications have to use alternative APIs to add, open, edit or delete files located across the volume.

One of these APIs is called the MediaStore API, and it provides access to common media files, such as: audio, video clips, and images.

Apps using MediaStore can send a file to the trash instead of deleting it to give users a chance to recover the file later.

Most desktop operating systems have a similar feature, but Android 11 itself does not provide a system-wide Recycle Bin folder that lists all files sent to the trash.

Alternatively, apps that have edit access to junk files or that require user approval can show items from the hidden recycle bin.

The Files by Google file manager app is preparing to add such a feature.

It seems that Google is working with Android 12 to add a new entry to the settings to show the amount of storage space occupied by all the neglected items.

Clicking on this entry will launch a pane showing the number of files that have been sent to the Recycle Bin and also allowing the user to empty them.

Although users can empty trash, it is not yet known whether users can recover it as well.

And the upcoming trash feature in Files by Google allows users to view, restore or permanently delete deleted items.

Deleted items on Android are hidden from most file managers as they are formatted in a way that Android understands that the file should be considered hidden.

These hidden deleted files are stored in the same folder where they were originally located instead of moving them to the system-wide Trash folder.

It doesn’t seem like Google is planning to add the actual Recycle Bin folder in Android 12, but rather plans to make the feature more prominent.

In short, Android 12 and the Google File Manager app can support sending files to the trash and retrieving them, but this does not necessarily mean that any of the applications across Android 12 may do so.





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