San Francisco: Google has warned app developers not to use its Accessibility Services — designed for users with disabilities — for other purposes that may create security issues, adding that it will remove such apps from its Play Store.
To better help users with disabilities, Android has a set of Accessibility Services that developers can use to improve their applications.
“Google is most likely cracking down on Accessibility Services use due to security reasons. While applications like LastPass use the available APIs to identify password fields in other apps, this level of access can be used maliciously,” tech portal Android Police reported on Monday.
Google has sent an email to developers, stating that “unless developers can describe how the app properly uses the Accessibility Services to help users who are disabled, it will need to remove all requests for accessibility services or it will be taken off of the Play Store”, 9to5Google reported.
Apps like LastPass, Universal Copy, Clipboard Actions, Cerberus, Tasker and Network Monitor Mini use Accessibility Services.
The new directive could have major ramifications for several apps, especially those intended for customisation or power users.
“All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts,” Google said.