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Android Will Finally Show You Which Apps Are Draining Your Battery

Android Will Finally Show You Which Apps Are Draining Your Battery

The impetus for this move appears to be existence of (now removed) apps in the Play Store which use Accessibility features in conjunction with a vulnerability patched as part of the September security update to install malware.

The search giant is sending emails to developers using the Accessibility Services API to explain exactly how it will benefit users with disabilities. Android has various Accessibility Services that can be used by the developers to improve their apps, but some apps like the LastPass have been using these services for creating a unique overlay on the UI and also control other apps.

Android Police speculates that Google is taking this course of action for security reasons. DoubleLocker ransomware and BankBot malware are also among those which exploit accessibility services to compromise Android devices. "Your app must comply with our Permissions policy and the Prominent Disclosure requirements of our User Data policy", said the message.

That's a bummer for fans of apps like LastPass, Tasker, Cerberus and Universal Copy, all of which use the aforementioned API.

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Alternatively, you can remove any requests for accessibility services within your app.

The downside is that in 30 days Google will also kill hundreds, if not thousands of apps that use the Accessibility service in a non-malicious, but creative ways. As you can imagine, services that allow for things like saying a password out loud could be misused by malicious apps or developers.

"All violations are tracked". The developers will either have to figure out workarounds for their apps or remove certain functions in order to avoid being booted from the Play store. 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.

Yes, in the process, we may lose some really useful apps that are available in the Play Store, but we can at least rest easy that our devices aren't being attacked and passing data to hackers. One of my colleagues will get back to you within 2 business days. Then after a specified time, the feature will mark apps that haven't been used in a while as inactive, and will downgrade their size by removing the cache files.