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Android 8.1 Oreo will save space by reducing size of inactive apps

14 Noviembre 2017

Are you an Android device user who is exhausted of clearing the storage space on your smartphone in order to install app updates, new apps and receive OTA updates?

Google has told Android developers that they won't be able to publish their applications on the Google Play store if the app uses accessibility services for anything other than its intended goal. For example, the Accessibility Service can mimick taps and swipes on UI elements to navigate users through various screens. "You can also choose to unpublish your app". Google is apparently bringing a feature with Oreo 8.1 update which will clear storage by reducing the size of inactive apps.

The main reason for Google to limit the use of these services, is because of a recent malware called TOASTAMIGO. In case developers can not establish how they essentially utilize accessibility services for the primarily intended rationale, i.e., to support the special requirements users and lend a hand to have an enhanced experience with the apps, they will be guided to eliminate these functions or risk being abandoned from the Play Store completely. Attacks like Cloak & Dagger and Toast Overlay Attack heavily rely on it. Though Google has introduced this storage space saving feature as a part of Android 8.1 Oreo, it depends on the manufacturers who will have to enable the same manually. There is an active thread on Reddit where developers and app users are complaining, particularly about the fact that Google is only allowing 30 days for compliance. Your app must comply with our Permissions policy and the Prominent Disclosure requirements of our User Data policy. Alternatively, you can remove any requests for accessibility services within your app. This includes battery "doctor" apps, phone key remapping apps, some password managers, status bar replacement, and more.

As you can see, this change will most likely affect hundreds if not thousands of applications on the Play Store. If they are unable to convince the company within 30 days of receiving the mail, their apps will be taken down in the Play Store. Apps installed through third-party stores are not affected.

The malware asks users to provide access to Accessibility Services and then performs malicious tasks in the background.

Android 8.1 Oreo will save space by reducing size of inactive apps