Android app builders are reporting in posts on XDA Builders, Reddit, Android Police, and different boards that Google has despatched out an electronic mail warning them that apps requesting accessibility providers are for use to help customers with disabilities with utilizing Android gadgets and functions. The e-mail alerts builders that they have to clarify to app customers how their Android apps are utilizing the “android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE” particularly referring to customers with disabilities. Apps that fail to clarify using accessibility providers could also be faraway from Google Play. Builders have 30 days to fulfill accessibility providers utilization necessities. The e-mail additionally suggests builders can take away requests for accessibility providers from their Android apps or just take away their apps from Google Play.
Usually talking, accessibility providers run within the background of an Android app and when “AccessibilityEvents” are fired the providers obtain callbacks from the system. Clicking on a button and altering the main target are examples of AccessibilityEvents. You’ll be able to study extra concerning the Accessibility Companies API on the Android Builders web site.
Many builders have constructed Android apps that depend on the Accessibility Companies API for functions that won’t essentially be particular to serving to customers with disabilities. Many well-liked apps utilizing accessibility providers in modern methods could also be impacted by the warning from Google. Apps that could possibly be impacted embrace Cerberus, Clipboard Actions, Greenify, LastPass, Sensible Launcher, Kind Machine, and Common Copy.
Google might have issued this warning in an effort to scale back potential safety danger. The Accessibility Companies API can be utilized to learn information from different apps if the consumer grants particular permissions. This in flip, can be utilized by a nasty actor to allow malicious exercise resembling a phishing exploit, keylogger, or ransomware assault.
On the time of this writing, Google has not issued an official assertion relating to the emails despatched to builders about using accessibility providers.