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Tech & Science Google pauses crackdown on apps that use accessibility features

15:50  09 december  2017
15:50  09 december  2017 Source:   engadget.com

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A lot of legitimate apps like LastPass use Google 's Accessibility Services. The policy enforcement could affect apps like LastPass, Tasker, Cereberus and Universal Copy that use accessibility code for key features not intended for handicapped users.

According to reports, Google is now clamping down on those who use Accessibility Services "incorrectly" and is contacting app developers to ask them to explain how they make use of the features .

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Almost a month ago, Google cracked down on developers that used Android's accessibility features for apps that weren't expressly created for people with disabilities. The company told developers that they had to show how their code actually helped those with a disability or face removal from the Play Store within 30 days. Now, however, Google is pausing that final solution for another month to consider "responsible and innovative uses of accessibility services."

Several developers complained about the strict policy enforcement, which could affect apps like Last Pass (which uses accessibility features to help fill in form fields and passwords), Tasker (which uses the features to monitor launched apps) and Greenify (which shuts down apps when they use too much power).

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A lot of legitimate apps like LastPass use Google 's Accessibility Services. The policy enforcement could affect apps like LastPass, Tasker, Cereberus and Universal Copy that use accessibility code for key features not intended for handicapped users.

It seems Google is planning on cracking down on Android apps that use Accessibility Services for anything but helping disabled people to use their phone. Over the weekend developers with apps that use these services began receiving an email stating that if they cannot prove their app is designed to

"This is really bad news," Universal Copy's developer wrote on the Android Reddit. "We will have no other choice than unpublishing the app from the Play Store."

In the current email, Google asked recipients to send feedback around their appropriate use of the accessibility features in Android: "If you believe your app uses the Accessibility API for a responsible, innovative purpose that isn't related to accessibility, please respond to this email and tell us more about how your app benefits users. This kind of feedback may be helpful to us as we complete our evaluation of accessibility services."

Google’s Project Tango is shutting down because ARCore is already here .
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