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Android 8.1 reduces Inactive Apps size to offer more storage space

13 November 2017

A user's post on Google Plus showed the Android feature displaying that an app called Tile, that allows users to locate lost items via Bluetooth 4.0 technology, was draining a huge percentage of the user's battery through location tracking.

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. However did you know that there are actually quite a few apps that rely on Android's Accessibility Services? Several developers have reported getting the email from the Google Play Team. It is important to note that a lot of apps are using Accessibility Services the right way. Among the apps that are using this API for users with disabilities, you might have already heard about LastPass, Tasker or Network Monitor Mini, but there are other popular apps using it as well.

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Google plans to remove all apps that do not comply with its " Permissions policy and Prominent Disclosure requirements", the search giant announced.

Take LastPass for example, as this app uses the Accessibility Services API to distinguish the password field in other types of apps.

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According to Google, all apps that fail to meet its requirements within 30 days will be removed from Play Store. In effect, if you have an app installed, but it's rarely referenced, its cache will become marked as technically unimportant, automatically freeing up the space it was hogging.

All violations are tracked. The email goes onto state that the developer needs to tell the users how the app is using the helpful services. 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. One of my colleagues will get back to you within 2 business days.

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As you can see, this change will most likely affect hundreds if not thousands of applications on the Play Store. That is because even apps designed specifically for disabled people can be banned because anyone can use them.

Android 8.1 reduces Inactive Apps size to offer more storage space