Google seems to be preparing to add a feature that is highly requested by users with Android devices; this feature is part of the more traditional desktop operating systems. What are we talking about? Of the trash can, obviously. The experts at XDA-Developers have been digging into the Android 12 code to discover features that Google has not yet officially announced; the last line shows the presence of the “Recycle Bin” in the general settings of the device.

When tapping on this item, Android 12 should bring up a dialog box stating the amount of storage space the deleted files are taking up on the system and giving the option to empty it. It looks like it should work exactly as it does on Windows or Mac, but in practice, it’s likely to be a lot more complicated for a variety of reasons.

Android actually has a trash can API in Android 11 that apps can use to hide files instead of instantly and completely deleting them, but it appears to be underused. In fact, it seems that Google itself is preparing to support it in the Files by Google app, but so far none of this has been shown.

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Then the “Trash” function already exists in Android 11, but few apps seem to use it; and even if they did, there is still no way to actually recover files from this. In Android 12, the settings discovered by XDA don’t seem to offer recovery, but individual file management apps, such as Google’s, may.

Managing Android files won’t be as simple as on your desktop operating system. For example, the new storage settings mean that files “moved to the trash” are technically hidden and in addition, each different Android manufacturer can choose to use their own file management app instead of the one offered by Google and that app may or may not support the new trash API.

In short, Android 12 and Google’s Files app may support recycle bin and file recovery, but that doesn’t mean none of the apps on Android 12 will 100%.

Yes, we know: it all seems to be so messy and chaotic. We hope to see positive news on this in the coming months with the future DP3s of Bigg’s software.