Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Android 8.1 will reduce the size of inactive apps to save size

Android 8.1 will reduce the size of inactive apps to save size

And if developers can't prove that their apps actually use Accessibility Services for their intended purpose-to assist disabled users and help them have a better experience with an app-then they must remove these functions or risk being pulled off the Play Store entirely. Apps that fail to meet this requirement within 30 days may be removed from Google Play.

There are some apps which use Google's Accessibility Services such as LastPass, Universal Copy, Clipboard Actions, Cerberus, Tasker and Network Monitor Mini. In the Developer Preview for the upcoming Android 8.1 Oreo, you can go to the Battery settings and you'll notice that there's an app highlighted in the app that has a red warning icon. Both app users and android devs were surprised at the new developments, considering the fact that many such apps have flourished for years without any intervention from Google.

The mails stated: "We're contacting you because your app, BatterySaver System Shortcut, with package name com.floriandraschbacher.batterysaver.free 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. Your app must comply with our Permissions policy and the Prominent Disclosure requirements of our User Data policy", Google's message reads.

Take LastPass for example, as this app uses the Accessibility Services API to distinguish the password field in other types of apps. New applications are getting larger in size and while devices with 64GB of storage may not think twice about installing an app over 100MB, those with lower-end devices and limited storage could find their smartphones running out of space. You do not want apps that clog your storage. Developers have 30 days to address their use of Accessibility Services so we will have to wait and see what happens. All violations are tracked.

According to a report by XDA Developers, Google will bring a new feature in Android 8.1 that will help users save some space on their handsets. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. Most apps do use this feature and a lot of them have no real need to access this information.

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