Sideloading apps are now subject to new limitations in Android 13, preventing users from providing access to accessibility services. Given that many phishing and malware assaults rely on persuading users into installing APKs from sources other than the app store, this could make it more difficult for bad actors to take over a user’s phone.
It’s also worth noting that Google simply prohibits users from sideloading programs. You won’t run into accessibility restrictions if you utilize an alternate software distribution channel like F-Droid or the Amazon App Store. Google may consider apps in the App Store to be partially filtered.
At the same time, unless they are specially designed for accessibility, apps distributed in the Google Play Store cannot use accessibility features by default. While other app developers can go through the arduous process of proving to Google that accessibility services have significantly improved their apps, they can still request exemptions. Still, Google actively opposes the usage of accessibility services in general.
Call recording applications are the most recent victims of these restrictions, with Google no longer allowing them to record phone calls using the accessibility service.
Sideloading Apps is Still Possible with Android 13
The new rules apply to apps downloaded from the Google Play Store. Accessibility Services will remain inactive if we install an older version of Sleep as Android from APK Mirror that uses Accessibility Services to prevent the phone from going off when attempting to turn off the alarm.
Even after updating to the most recent version available on the Play Store, this issue persisted. However, users can still use the workaround outlined above to access accessibility services in Android 13 Beta 1.
For individuals who upgraded apps before the Play Store launched, it’s an extra step. It’s also worth noting that Google solely prohibits app sideloading. You won’t have any accessibility issues if you utilize a different app distribution platform. Android 13 will not target apps obtained from the Google Play Store, instead focusing on user-acquired APK files from untrustworthy third-party sources.
According to Esper, Android 13 may prevent users from giving sideloaded apps accessibility capabilities. The service will be grayed out, and tapping it will display the warning “this setting is now unavailable for your security.” Google’s system will determine whether an app came from the Play Store or another source during installation.
Image credits: Google