The Google Play support page just released a new notice, saying: “The accessibility API was not designed and cannot be required for remote call recording”. This Google ban will take effect on May 11, the first day of the Google I/O event.
And since these APIs are used as a solution to enable remote call recording, apps that use them will no longer be listed on the Play Store. Of course, these policy changes only affect third-party apps on the Play Store. Many default dialer apps like Google Phone, Mi Dialer… have their own call recording functionality built into specific devices like Pixel and Xiaomi smartphones that won’t be affected.
Google did not give a clear reason for the new ban. Many regions require the consent of one or more call participants to begin recording, but if approved, recording is perfectly legal and useful.
So in essence, this means that if you can record calls using the device’s pre-installed dialer app, no problem will change. However, if you are using an app downloaded from the Google Play Store, it may not be able to record future calls.
The Android accessibility APIs are extremely powerful and allow all kinds of control over the Android operating system. In the past, Google has said that it would prefer accessibility APIs to be used only by apps that are accessible to people with disabilities. But the reality is not as expected, many advanced user applications still plug in the accessibility APIs.
Google tried removing apps from the accessibility API by supporting a few specific use cases with a full set of APIs, but this plan was ultimately abandoned. And now, the way this tech giant does it is to ban all call recording apps from the Play Store, a simple and effective solution.