Google to remove apps that misuse its 'Accessibility Services' from Play Store

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

The Android Accessibility service is an Android API designed to help app developers create apps for users with disabilities. Developers who can't update their apps were kindly asked to remove the apps from the Play Store themselves.

Developers can share a link for the app via a message or through social media where they can try the app without having to install it. Google is doing this for security reasons as it does not want developers to use the API for purposes other than to help users with disabilities. It'd also prevent preinstalled apps you don't use from hogging additional storage, but that brings us to an even better possible solution: let people uninstall preinstalled bloatware, without hassle (please, Google?).

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There are some apps which use Google's Accessibility Services such as LastPass, Universal Copy, Clipboard Actions, Cerberus, Tasker and Network Monitor Mini.

Accessibility services are the backbone of many apps which need those permissions for their functionality, and the change in rules could mean the end of the line for those apps.

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Are you an Android device user who is exhausted of clearing the storage space on your smartphone in order to install app updates, new apps and receive OTA updates?

Google plans to remove all apps that do not comply with its " Permissions policy and Prominent Disclosure requirements", the search giant announced. It has been trying to address this with a series of new measures such as Play Protect and Project Treble and is now restricting apps form misusing access to Accessibility Services. In effect, if you have an app installed, but it's rarely referenced, its cache will become marked as technically unimportant, automatically freeing up the space it was hogging. The company also informs that repeated violations can call for a termination of the developer's account as well as related Google accounts after investigation. Below is the content of the email sent to one app developer.

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"That said, I wish they would find another way to go about resolving this that didn't involve the removal of hundreds of good, useful apps from the Play Store". Is an app like AutoInput (an app that helps a lot of disabled folks) not allowed because a lot of non-disabled people can benefit from it too?

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