Is there a way to just disable this message, but not the auto-saving functionality?
Yes, Emacs 27 will introduce the user option
auto-save-no-message is a variable defined in ‘keyboard.c’.
Its value is nil
You can customize this variable.
This variable was introduced, or its default value was changed, in
version 27.1 of Emacs.
Non-nil means do not print any message when auto-saving.
(emacs) Auto Save:
18.6 Auto-Saving: Protection Against Disasters
From time to time, Emacs automatically saves each visited file in a
separate file, without altering the file you actually use. This is
called “auto-saving”. It prevents you from losing more than a limited
amount of work if the system crashes.
When Emacs determines that it is time for auto-saving, it considers
each buffer, and each is auto-saved if auto-saving is enabled for it and
it has been changed since the last time it was auto-saved. When the
‘auto-save-no-message’ variable is set to ‘nil’ (the default), the
message ‘Auto-saving...’ is displayed in the echo area during
auto-saving, if any files are actually auto-saved; to disable these
messages, customize the variable to a non-‘nil’ value. Errors occurring
during auto-saving are caught so that they do not interfere with the
execution of commands you have been typing.
To customise the variable, you can either M-x
auto-save-no-messageRET or simply:
(setq-default auto-save-no-message t)