Google threatens to remove popular apps that use accessibility services

Android 8.1 Developer Preview shows which apps drain your battery
     
     
       By Ida Torres

Android 8.1 Developer Preview shows which apps drain your battery By Ida Torres

This means that if you use an app where the Accessibility Services API is used to create an overlay interface, it could be removed. As the service was designed for people with disabilities, if someone uses it for other reasons, Google said it will have that authority to remove such apps from its Play Store.

Among the apps that are using this API for users with disabilities, you might have already heard about LastPass, Tasker or Network Monitor Mini, but there are other popular apps using it as well. The Google Play Support team requested developers to submit their clarifications within 30 days or face action.

The problem that Google is trying to solve is the potential security risk involved in allowing apps to read data from other apps by using the API. However did you know that there are actually quite a few apps that rely on Android's Accessibility Services?

It will also tell you how it's draining it, like the Maps or Tile app constantly requests your location or the Fenix app keeps your device awake.

The mails stated: "We're contacting you because your app, BatterySaver System Shortcut, with package name com.floriandraschbacher.batterysaver.free is requesting the 'android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE.' Apps requesting accessibility services should only be used to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps".

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Google plans to remove all apps that do not comply with its " Permissions policy and Prominent Disclosure requirements", the search giant announced.

If the developer gets the email, they only have 30 days to justify the user of the Accessibility Services for the app in question.

Alternatively, you can choose to unpublish the app.

For example, in the case of Tile, one can turn off the location (which, however, defeats the goal of the app) to save battery if it is running in the background. All violations are tracked. Well, Google seems to be focused on resolving all these issues and relieve users of the storage space related concerns. For apps on Google Play Store, this will impact thousands of them at a time. If notifications are the ones that are draining your battery you can easily disable them and continue to use your application.

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