Google Asks Android Developers to Justify Accessibility Services

Google Asks Android Developers to Justify Accessibility Services

Google Asks Android Developers to Justify Accessibility Services

This was spotted by the folks at XDA Developers last week, and it's an automatic feature that will be triggered when your device is low on storage; it works by clearing the cache of apps which haven't been used for a while. Another option for devs who are using the API is to remove any requests for accessibility services within their app.

Most Android malware groups will just shift focus to third-party store distribution, or focus on different methods to abuse the Play Store or ask for permission to the Accessibility service in ways that are not detected by Google at this time.

The new directive could have major ramifications for several apps, especially those intended for customisation or power users. Therefore, if the developers do not agree with Google on this one, they app will be removed from the Play Store and their developer account could be deactivated. Both app users and android devs were surprised at the new developments, considering the fact that many such apps have flourished for years without any intervention from Google. Some apps that use these services include Battery Saver, LastPass, Universal Copy, Cerberus, Split-screen creator, Tasker, Clipboard Actions, etc.

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In the email Google is sending out to developers, Google reminds the developers that Accessibility Services was put there to help those people on Android with disabilities. Malicious apps can misuse this access to implement keylogger over a banking app or carry out phishing attacks. "While applications like LastPass use the available APIs to identify password fields in other apps, this level of access can be used maliciously", tech portal Android Police reported on Monday.

Developers have 30 days to comply and update their apps.

Google recently released the beta version of Files Go smart storage management application. This is a huge change as it does affect the functionality of apps, with some apps potentially losing the ability to function as they might rely too heavily on the API.

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The apps and developers in violation of these rules could have their developer account removed.

But if these developers don't shape up and fly right, or at least don't find a workaround, Google has said it will boot them from the Play Store within 30 days.

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