UC Browser gets temporarily delisted on the Play Store for 'misleading' users

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Android's Accessibility Services are created to help developers make their apps easier to use for those with disabilities.

Recently, Google has notified developers of apps that use Accessibility features for purposes other than helping users with disabilities to cease using those APIs or otherwise unpublish their app. Google's sudden policy change seems like it will also reduce the functionality of myriad useful apps and could outright kill others. While it may be possible for some developers to recreate key features of their apps in a way that avoids the improper use of accessibility services, they will undoubtedly struggle to do so within such a tight window of time. If the developers are unable to convince the search giant within 30 days of receiving the mail, their apps will be removed from the Play Store.

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AndroidPolice reported this citing one such email that was sent to BatterySaver. In addition, it is the sixth most downloaded Android app in India. On first use, the app reports that it requires Accessibility permissions to operate. It also says that developers can alternatively remove the accessibility services within the app, or can choose to unpublish the app. Apparently, the mini version is still there and can be downloaded. It aims to encourage students to develop their creative app ideas and publish it to Google Play Store. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing in Hyderabad is investigating the matter. For example, some password management apps use Accessibility Services API to make it easier for users to fill in text fields with their log-in credentials in another app. "Unfortunately, this API started with API 21, (until they restrict the usage of that.) so people using Tasker on a pre-Lollipop device won't be able to use app contexts anymore". So, their credentials can be used for malicious purposes.

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