Google Asks Android Developers to Justify Accessibility Services | News & Opinion

If an Android developer makes use of Google’s Accessibility Services or APIs, they’re going to have to clarify how they assist customers with disabilities or threat removing from the Play Store.

Android Oreo

Google is letting builders know that the corporate is cracking down on how they make use of its Accessibility Services and APIs of their apps. And if builders cannot show that their apps truly use Accessibility Services for his or her supposed goal—to help disabled customers and assist them have a greater expertise with an app—then they have to take away these features or threat being pulled off the Play Store totally.

According to 9to5Google, the corporate has began sending out notices to builders to ask them about their use of Accessibility Services and APIs. For instance:


7;re contacting you as a result of your app, BatterySaver System Shortcut, with bundle identify is requesting the ‘android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE.’ Apps requesting accessibility providers ought to solely be used to assist customers with disabilities use Android gadgets and apps. Your app should adjust to our Permissions coverage and the Prominent Disclosure necessities of our User Data coverage,” Google’s message reads.

“Action required: If you are not already doing so, you need to clarify to customers how your app is utilizing the ‘android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE‘ to assist customers with disabilities use Android gadgets and apps. Apps that fail to fulfill this requirement inside 30 days could also be faraway from Google Play. Alternatively, you may take away any requests for accessibility providers inside your app. You also can select to unpublish your app.”

Google’s motive for the crackdown doubtless stems from the easy incontrovertible fact that builders can use Accessibility Services to have an effect on the conduct of different apps with their apps. For instance, a password administration app could use Accessibility Services so customers can fill in textual content fields inside one other app with their login credentials. These identical providers also can assist apps learn data from different apps—creating potential safety points both approach.

“Unfortunately, like their choice to take away system overlays on Oreo, this makes all an excessive amount of sense when you think about that they are doing this to get a tighter maintain on the performance that Android apps are allowed to have; stopping apps from stealing customers knowledge with out their data is a fairly necessary concern for them,” writes James Fenn, developer of the Android app Status.

“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.”

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