The Android-powered Nextbit Robin smartphone has a nifty trick called Smart Storage under its wing. The way Smart Storage works is simple: When you use your device, Smart Storage syncs your apps, app data, media content, pictures, and videos to your Nextbit cloud space. Smart Storage collects data on how often you use apps and data. Once the local storage fills up on your device, Smart Storage kicks in and starts to archive lesser-used apps from the device, freeing up local storage.
When you need one of the archived apps, all you have to do is tap the grayed-out icon and Smart Storage will pull it back to the device from the archive. The app will function exactly as expected, and your app data remains so there's no loss.
How to manage Smart Storage
Out of the box, Smart Storage will automatically connect to your cloud account the second you log in to your Google Account. You will be prompted to give the feature access to photos, media, and files. Tap ALLOW, and the magic will begin. If you miss that step, fear not...you can set it up later. Here's how.
- Open Settings on your Robin.
- Locate and tap Smart Storage.
- Tap SIGN IN (Figure A).
- Select the Google account you wish to associate with Smart Storage and tap OK.
Signing into Smart Storage on your Nextbit Robin.
Now that you've signed in, what can you do? If you go back to Settings | Smart Storage, click the menu button in the top right corner (three vertical dots) and tap Options. Within the Smart Storage Settings page (Figure B), you can enable/disable a number of features.
The Smart Storage Settings page.
Out of the box, Smart Storage has all of the options enabled — this is by design, as those options make for the best experience. With your Robin, you will have 32 GB. Once that local storage starts to fill up, the lesser-used apps will begin to archive on your 100 GB cloud storage. To see what apps have been archived, tap the purple circle on your Nextbit Home home screen and tap Archived Apps. If you see the screen shown in Figure C, no apps have been archived; otherwise, the archived apps would be listed.
No archived apps yet.
How to pin apps
What if there are apps you don't often use, but you want to ensure that they are never archived? Fortunately, Nextbit added the ability to do just that. The feature is called Pinning.
You can easily pin an app to the home screen to prevent it from being archived. This feature only works from the Nextbit Home home screen launcher; if you use a third-party home screen launcher, Pinning will not be available.
To pin an app, do the following.
- From the Nextbit Home home screen, locate the app to be pinned.
- Tap the app and swipe downward.
- When you see the notification that the app has been pinned, you're done.
To check on which apps have been pinned, tap the purple circle on your home screen and then tap Pinned Apps. A list of all your pinned apps will appear (Figure D).
All the pinned apps in one convenient location.
To unpin an app, long press it in the pinned app listing, and then tap the unpin icon that appears in the top left of the screen (Figure E).
Unpinning an app is simple.
A very smart move
Nextbit's very smart move is one that other manufacturers should consider as an option, especially for mid-spec'd devices that offer < 32 GB of storage.
If you happen to be the proud owner of a Nextbit Robin, make sure to use Smart Storage, as it could save you a lot of frustration down the road.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.