Accessibility services and features are features that can be found in platforms like iOS and Android, and unless you’re someone who actually uses them, most of us probably take them for granted and might not notice them. However did you know that there are actually quite a few apps that rely on Android’s Accessibility Services?

As Android Police points out, there are quite a few apps that use features in the API to enhance their apps, such as to overlay content, fill in text fields, and so on, but apparently this is something that Google has decided that they won’t allow in the future. Google has sent out emails to developers who have been using the API for non-accessibility purposes, warning them that their app could be removed from the Play Store.

According to an email received by the developer of BatterySaver, “If you aren’t already doing so, you must explain to users how your app is using the ‘android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE’ to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps. Apps that fail to meet this requirement within 30 days may be removed from Google Play. Alternatively, you can remove any requests for accessibility services within your app.”

The reason behind this is due to security reasons. Apparently when granted the right permissions, the API can be used to read data from other apps, which means that someone who wanted to “steal” data from other apps could do so by creating an app that used the API. 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.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about Android, Apps and Google.

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