Google to remove apps if found in violation

Yolanda Curtis
November 13, 2017

This was spotted by the folks at XDA Developers last week, and it's an automatic feature that will be triggered when your device is low on storage; it works by clearing the cache of apps which haven't been used for a while. But in case you don't need it, then you have the option to either close the app and turn location services off to conserve your battery life.

Likely for this reason, Google has sent emails to app developers regarding the usage of Accessibility Services.

This is a very powerful feature, one that malware authors also noticed and incorporated into their malicious apps. Apps that fail to meet this requirement within 30 days may be removed from Google Play.

Similarly, another user on Twitter posted about the Fenix app being shown as constantly keeping the device awake. But a lot of apps use this access for other purposes. Fortunately, that's what's improved here: if you have an app hogging battery, the device will become smart enough to know why, so once you tap on the warning, Android will tell you what you should do, even if it's as simple as disabling its notifications or polling rates. This includes battery "doctor" apps, phone key remapping apps, some password managers, status bar replacement, and more. This information can easily be used within a nefarious app or for harmful purposes. There is also the possibility that it is risky to give apps access.

We're contacting you because your app, BatterySaver System Shortcut, with package name is requesting the 'android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE.' Apps requesting accessibility services should only be used to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps.

Google recently released the beta version of Files Go smart storage management application. If the developer chooses, they can also remove the services from their app within those 30 days as well.

The apps and developers in violation of these rules could have their developer account removed. As the API can be used by developers to affect other apps with their apps, this can leave them open to potential data theft. Is an app like AutoInput (an app that helps a lot of disabled folks) not allowed because a lot of non-disabled people can benefit from it too?

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