Domingo, 19 Noviembre, 2017


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

Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.1 Oreo will reduce size of inactive apps to save
Orlondo Matamoros | Noviembre 14, 2017, 12:45

"BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE" to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps.

In case developers can not prove how they actually use accessibility services for the original intended goal i.e.to assist the special needs users and help them have a better experience with the apps, they will be directed to remove these functions or risk being scrapped from the Play Store entirely. For example, the Accessibility Service can mimick taps and swipes on UI elements to navigate users through various screens. You will also have to regularly clear the cache of space hogging culprit apps such as Facebook, to free up extra storage for more apps.

Accessibility services are now often found in banking trojans, mobile ransomware strains, click-fraud bots, adware, and about any other malware category.

Google has recently emailed Android app developers regarding its move to take down apps that take advantage of the platform's Accessibility features in order to stealthily serve malware to users. Once they gained such access, it was game over, as this allowed the malware to install itself as device admin, download and install other malware, and execute various operations in the phone's background.

Google now appears to be looking to put a stop to applications which don't use the accessibility services feature for the original nature in which it was intended.

To better help disabled users, Android has a set of Accessibility Services that developers can use to improve their applications. Anyone else will have 30 days to meet the services' guidelines or risk being removed from the Play Store. Then after a specified time, the feature will mark apps that haven't been used in a while as inactive, and will downgrade their size by removing the cache files. Alternatively, you can remove any requests for accessibility services within your app.

The company has given developers 30 days to comply with the new requirements. Some Android skins, like the one on the Galaxy S8, and some apps, like Greenify, already make it possible to detect which applications are draining your phone's battery.

There are many apps on the Play Store that rely on these services to perform useful actions. Apps installed through third-party stores are not affected.