Google is getting serious with the Android developers while the company has sent out the strict instructions to them asking for a justification over the requirement of accessibility services. Google is narrowing down on how they engage its accessibility services and API’s into their apps. Now this is a big responsibility on the Android developers to prove actual intent for the use of accessibility of services in to their Android devices and apps and in case it intends to assist the disabled users and provide them a better experience then in that case functions should be removed on an immediate basis or they should risk the fact of getting pulled off the play store completely.
The latest Android news shows that Google is sending the notice because of the app, battery saver system shortcut with the package name com.floriandraschbacher.batterysaver.free requests the android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE’. Apps which request for the accessibility services are supposed to use only to assist the users with disabilities and the app must comply with the Google’s permissions policy and the prominent disclosure requirements of their user data policy.
The action which is required from the Android app developer’s end is:
If in case they do not abide by the policies then, in that case, they will have to explain to its users how the app is using the app.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE to help them with the disability use Android devices and apps. So, the apps that are going to fail this requirement, then within the 30 days of the time it will be removed from the Google Play.
However, as an alternative, developers can remove any requests for the accessibility services within the app or chose to un-publish the app. There is a simple fact behind the Google’s notice is that the developers can use the accessibility services to mark the behavior of other apps with their apps. Like Google’s decision to remove system overlays on Oreo, this certainly makes more sense when all this is seen as getting the tighter hold on the functionality that Android apps are allowed to have.
So, on a concluding note, preventing the apps from stealing the user’s data without them knowing about it is certainly a serious issue. However, Android developers are not very happy with this policy as per them there should be some other way to resolve instead of removing more than hundreds of good Android applications.