Android Will Finally Show You Which Apps Are Draining Your Battery

Google cracks down on apps using Accessibility Services for purposes other than accessibility
       By John Hoff

Google cracks down on apps using Accessibility Services for purposes other than accessibility By John Hoff

The API was created specifically to help users with various disabilities, but developers have latched onto it as a way of increasing the functionality of their apps.

Google recently started sending out emails to App developers, asking them to make sure that their apps are not requesting access to Accessibility Services unless they're to help disabled users. For example, the Accessibility Service can mimick taps and swipes on UI elements to navigate users through various screens. This seems like a reasonable decision at first glance, until you consider the sheer amount of apps that need this permission to function. Sufficient to say that if they enforce this, a lot of apps are going to be either unpublished or lose some pretty useful features. Though Google has introduced this storage space saving feature as a part of Android 8.1 Oreo, it depends on the manufacturers who will have to enable the same manually. If they are unable to convince the company within 30 days of receiving the mail, their apps will be taken down in the Play Store.

As reported by the Android Police, Google will be cracking down on Accessibility Services for security reasons too.

The likes of Tasker, LastPass and Universal Copy are among the titles that make use of the Accessibility Services API, and they have been warned to either explain why they are using the API, stop using the API, or unpublish their app.

Google plans to remove all apps that do not comply with its " Permissions policy and Prominent Disclosure requirements", the search giant announced. 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. This includes battery "doctor" apps, phone key remapping apps, some password managers, status bar replacement, and more. While the move by Google is understandable, it threatens to remove some of the most used and innovative apps on the Play Store. Another option for devs who are using the API is to remove any requests for accessibility services within their app. Apps installed through third-party stores are not affected. Developers have 30 days to address their use of Accessibility Services so we will have to wait and see what happens.

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