Google temporarily pauses ban of apps using Accessibility Services
Tasker fans, take a deep breath.
In mid-November, Google started contacting developers to let them know that it’d be implementing new restrictions on apps using Accessibility Services. The reasoning behind this was to crack down on security vulnerabilities that can arise as a result of apps using these maliciously, but it also caused for confusion and aggravation around apps like LastPass that use Accessibility Services legitimately.
According to Android Police, Google is now reaching out to developers once again to let them know that it’s taking a step back on these actions.
Per an email that’s being sent out to developers whose apps using Accessibility Services:
We’re evaluating responsible and innovative uses of accessibility services. While we complete this evaluation, we are pausing the 30 day notice we previously contacted you about. We’ll notify you once our evaluation is completed. If further actions are needed to bring your app into compliance with our policies, your 30 day notice will begin when we reach back out to you.
After reading off more specifics for developers, the email reads:
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.
There’s a solid argument to be made for limiting which apps can tap into Android’s Accessibility Services, but we are relieved to hear that Google is keeping an open mind for titles that are using them for legitimate, user-beneficial reasons. It’s unclear when Google will resume its crackdown on these apps, but in the meantime, a lot of developers can breathe much easier.
Accessibility Services: What they are and why Google is cracking down on their misuse