(to make the folder use a file manager app or the command "su" followed by "mkdir /data/app/com.android.vending-1.apk" with a Terminal Emulator app and Busybox installed.
NOTE: Making a new folder in /data partition require root permissions so the Andriod system must be rooted first)
owners of smartphone with very limited internal storage, like Galaxy Y, will likely end up to be concerned of every single MB of free space lost; and the more the concern as the free space is getting closer to zero.
So there I am too.
I've put lot of effort to optimize the use of my Galaxy Y internal storage (/system, /data and /cache partitions all together) and I'm proud to have more than 50% of internal storage free and I like to have it that way for as long time as possibile.
One day, few weeks ago, I got very disappointed when I realized that I suddenly lost 15% (actually 15MB) of free space for some unknow reason
Later, it turned out that the reason was that the Google Play Store had been silently updated in the background without any notification.
Actually the footprint of newer version of Google Play Store is only 4MB bigger but as the previous version was installed in /system partition then the update process doesn't actually perform a replacement of the old installation with the new one, but it just add the newer app leaving the old installation untouched (that means leaving in place the old apk file along with its davilk-cache file) but marked as disabled.
Uninstalling the update (that in my opinion, for my needs and usage, was useless) was just a matter of tapping one button... but then another background update would have happen soon after.
So, as I didn't find any related option in Google Play Store settings, I immediately started a Google search to find a way to prevent/avoid/stop any further self update.
What I've found is only two solutions:
- one is about to freeze/disable the app that manage the update of Google Play Store; but this app doesn't longer exist or it's used as the latest Google Play Store app handle the self update by its own.
- the other one is to make a "dummy" file in /data/app that will make the installation of the update to fail as the required name for the new apk is already in use by the dummy file.
Unfortunately for those smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy Y, where the /data partition is formatted RFS (Robust File System from Samsung; basically a FAT 16/32 based file system with a sort of journalling system on it) this solution doesn't work because RFS doesn't support the immutable file attribute and therefore the "chattr +i" command will fail.
If the dummy file isn't set as immutable then the installation task will be able to delete it and make the new apk in /data/app folder.
As an attempt to make the second solution, the "dummy file solution", to work with my Galaxy Y, I made the immutable dummy file in another partition then I created a link in /data/app pointing to that file.
But that didn't work... same as for the not immutable dummy file, the link can be deleted by the installation task that will then proceed till completion.
So what to try next?
From what I've read around seems that there's no solution; owners of Galaxy Y (that didn't reformat the /data partition with a Ext2/3/4) and other smartphone with RFS filesystem are simply out of luck.
I then remembered the days I used to make a autorun.inf folder in the root of my FAT32 formatted USB thumbdrive to prevent removable drive spreading viruses to make their own autorun.inf file in the thumbdrive.
So... why not to try the same trick to make the installation of the Google Play Store update to fail due to the impossibility to make it's own com.android.vending-1.apk file in /data/app folder?
As a side note I want to point it out that this trick doesn't prevent the Google Play Store to try to self update and download the latest installer in the /cache folder.
Anyway I've observed that after the first failure of the update there are no further update attempts neither new downloads... at least for a while (maybe till next new version will be released?)
I don't know how long it takes, after the first update failure, for the downloaded apk in /cache folder to be automatically deleted... if ever; so I advise you to give a look at the /cache folder and manually delete it if still there.
That's all folks!