Developers whose apps use Android's accessibility features outside of their intended goal will need to abide by a few new rules or risk of having their apps removed from the Play Store entirely.
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. But that may soon change, as the Google Play Store team is sending out emails to developers telling them that they can no longer implement Accessibility Services unless they follow Google's guidelines. The browser has a userbase of 420 million globally - racking up 500 million downloads on the Play Store last month - with over 100 million coming from India. On first use, the app reports that it requires Accessibility permissions to operate.
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"Unfortunately, like their decision to remove system overlays on Oreo, this makes all too much sense when you consider that they're doing this to get a tighter hold on the functionality that Android apps are allowed to have; preventing apps from stealing users data without their knowledge is a pretty important issue for them".
Google seems to have taken down the UC Browser application from Play Store, although UC Web's other offering - the UC Browser Mini - is still available for download. You also need to consider downloading the latest version. "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", the email reads further. It is noted that this API can affect other apps and can be used for potential data theft. Apps that also allow users to "autofill passwords, copy content to clipboards and automate tasks" use Accessibility Services to provide full functionality. So, their credentials can be used for malicious purposes.