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Google bans third-party call-recording apps from Play Store • The Register


Google has made adjustments to its Play Store insurance policies, successfully banning third-party call-recording apps starting May 11, claiming it seeks to shut different use accessibility APIs for issues apart from accessibility.

Google has for some time blocked actual name recording on Android 6 and over the microphone on Android 10. Developers have been utilizing accessibility APIs as a workaround to allow the recording of calls on Android.

Accessibility Service APIs are instruments that supply further providers that may assist these with disabilities overcome challenges. Using these providers towards their designed intentions, i.e. to attain a purpose not geared at overcoming disabilities, stays the one approach for third-party apps to report calls.

But with the forthcoming coverage, the workaround will now not be accessible – at the very least by way of the Google Play Store model of the Accessibility Service.

“The Accessibility API is not designed and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording,” stated Google in its authentic announcement of the coverage change.

The Chocolate Factory has been hinting since at the very least 2017 that it desires to take away apps with accessibility providers that aren’t designed for disabled of us from the Play Store. It despatched letters to app builders in November 2017 stating that accessibility providers ought to solely be used to assist customers with disabilities. Public outcry led Google to pause on any additional motion.

The coverage was introduced again on April 6, alongside different adjustments, however did not instantly increase many eyebrows.

However, Google livestreamed a developer coverage replace on Thursday the place it stated the call-recording coverage was merely a “clarification to an existing policy.”

The video is mislabeled as April 2020. It was certainly livestreamed in April 2022. According to developer NLL on Reddit, this was not the one error made by Google.

“If you watch the video however, you will see that the speaker mistakenly claiming phone apps having access to call audio. This is not correct, only phone [apps] that come with your phone or made by Google can access the call audio. Third party apps cannot,” stated NLL, who makes recording app Another Call Recorder (ACR).

Those towards the ban have argued that stopping customers from recording calls through Google Play Store apps will solely incentivize them to seek out dodgy apps elsewhere.

Also, the coverage doesn’t apply to default dialer apps – people who come preinstalled on a tool. So in the long run, the ramification is that customers could very properly search out these apps not within the Google Play Store, however extra probably will follow the likes of preinstalled apps like Google Phone or Xiaomi’s Mi Dialer.

Coincidentally, the day the coverage goes into impact, May 11, can also be the primary day of annual developer convention Google I/O. ®



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