Tech giant, Google is announcing a new Play Store policy that will effectively block third-party call recording apps from the Play Store by May 11th. Such call recording apps presently use the Accessibility API (designed for people with disabilities) to acquire access to the audio functions on Android devices.
“Apps with a core functionality intended to directly support people with disabilities are eligible to use the IsAccessibilityTool,” the policy states. “Apps not eligible for IsAccessibilityTool may not use the flag and must meet prominent disclosure and consent requirements. The Accessibility API is not designed and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording. ”
Google is Blocking Call Recording Apps Due to Privacy Concerns
The company has been gradually trying to eradicate call recording on Android, mostly due to privacy concerns. It was mainly blocked on Android 6, and the use of the microphone for call recording was stopped in Android 10. The last resort for call recording apps was to employ the Accessibility API. Google addressed the problem in a webinar video, stating that “remote in this context refers to call audio recording where the person on the other end is unaware of the recording is taking place.”
Dialer Apps Such as Google Phone and Mi Dialer Will be Unaffected
It added that dialer applications such as Google Phone and Mi Dialer with native call recording functionality will be unaffected by the change. “If the app is the default dialer on the phone and also pre-loaded, accessibility capability is not required to get access to the incoming audio stream,” said Google content global operations lead Moun Choi. “Hence would not be in violation. Since this is a clarification to an existing policy, the new language will apply to all apps starting on May 11th.” It’s not clear if the new policy means existing call recording apps will be pulled from the Play Store.
Read more: Google Wallet could Soon Make a Comeback