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Android 4.3 comes with App Ops: WHY has this not being talked about?!?!!??!

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by gtbarry, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. gtbarry

    gtbarry Android Expert
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    This is a huge upgrade in 4.3 and not pissing off developers is the only reason I can think about why this is not being discussed. Not pissing off devs is certainly the reason why this is not on by default.

    Anyway, you FINALLY get to control the permissions an app asks for and you decide if the app can have it.

    Click the Play Store link below the graphic in the article. You will get to the app's Play Store page and be able to add it to your Wish List - in anticipation of your upgrade to 4.3.

    That's something Android Police have discovered is already baked into Android 4.3, and it's called "Apps Ops." The feature is hidden by default, but can easily be enabled via a third-party app in the Play Store, which brings it to life and allows you to fine tune other apps' permissions to read your contacts, access your location via GPS, or even read your call log.

    Hidden permissions manager found in Android 4.3, lets you set the rules
     

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  2. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood
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    Because its still not completely ready. Its so hidden most won't find it ;)


    I do agree though, its a huge feature
     
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  3. gtbarry

    gtbarry Android Expert
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  4. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
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    This ability was one of my favorite things in Cyanogenmod on my OG Droid. I never understood why they removed it in later versions. I'm glad to see it making an appearance in stock Android, even if it is hiding.
     
  5. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Is it like the "Privacy Guard" setting on some custom roms?
    EDIT Sorry i should really read the article lol im such a twat sometimes :D
    EDIT2 wow thats far more powerful than privacy guard. Reall nice addition Google :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  6. out of ideas

    out of ideas Android Enthusiast
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    I wonder why they dont just parse the manifest and see what permissions it uses instead of making the app try to access them first.
     
  7. rbheromax

    rbheromax Android Expert
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    That was my question lol but we need this backported. Literally earlier today I wondered if this existed so I went to Google and found this :D
     
  8. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
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    Regardless of the install source, Android presents a screen of permissions for the user to approve during installation, so Android is already parsing the manifest, and hopefully keeping track of this information and restricting app functions based on declared permissions. Ideally, the on/off toggles for permissions would be available on screen when the permissions are presented for approval, allowing the user to change allow/deny permissions at the time of installation. Of course it's equally important to be able to make post-installation adjustments to these settings, which is what Apps Ops appears to be.

    Knowing that Apps Ops is in stock Android, it makes me that much happier to have a Nexus device. My guess is that most devices currently in use won't see this feature without a custom ROM.
     
  9. Brian706

    Brian706 I like turtles!
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    Pac rom for the 3vo has a similar feature built into the settings. It's on 4.2. I'm not sure if it's a Pac feature for all devices or if it's something this dev added to his version.

    See screenshot:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. DragonSlayer95

    DragonSlayer95 Resident Air Bender
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    That may be a base cm10.1 feature

    I've got it on my s3 running Eclipse 4.2
     
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  11. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood
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    That looks like privacy guard. Its all on or all off.

    4.3 let's you have some on and some off
     
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  12. Brian706

    Brian706 I like turtles!
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    Well if you look at the app I expanded, it has individual check boxes for each permission. So :dontknow:
     
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  13. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Thats cool man. Must admit i didnt look at the screeny lol :beer:
     
  14. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    I can't wait for the day that this feature gets activated full tilt, but not for the reasons cited here. I can't count how many times I've seen a review for an app where someone slammed a permission without knowing what it was for. I'm not making it up, but I've actually seen;

    To spare anyone confused by the above statement, the camera permission is needed so that the flashlight app can enable the LED as a flashlight. And also;

    Apps used to need to be able to read phone state so that they would know to go to background and give priority to the phone app when receiving an incoming call. The OS now handles this itself (this was a long deprecated permission).

    But my all time favorite was the 1-star review for Handcent where someone actually complained about the app being able to view contacts and text messages :rolleyes: Bottom line is that some privacy crusader is going to disable a needed permission, then give a 1-star review because "the app doesn't work."

    What I'm hoping this new feature is for (and why it's hidden from the user by default) is that it gives app developers the ability to provide a setting for their app where the user can click on a permission (for that specific app), see why the permission is needed, and then disable based on that reasoning if desired. This would alleviate the confusion, and not open up Pandora's box to settings that people have no business changing without proper understanding.
     
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  15. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    ^^ wow Medion i could never have said that better. Youre completely right. Im not a dev' but when i see a permission, i think about it in an abstract way instead of just looking at the worst thing that permission is capable of.
    What annoys me is that some people seem to be far more paranoid about android than they are about windows etc. Is it because its a mobile platform?
    I hope when people get this feature and disable certain permissions and "omg, the app doesnt work now" it makes them understand clearer why the devs need these permissions and that it isnt some huge conspiracy by "the globalists" :D:beer:
     
  16. divinebovine

    divinebovine Android Expert
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    Certainly people feel less secure with something they pull out of their pocket and can easily leave somewhere or drop and not notice. However, I think what really brings it to mind is just the whole permissions system that puts it right there in their faces. If it was just wide open like other platforms I think most people wouldn't notice any more than they do with others.
     
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  17. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Totally man. I know virtually zero about windows but dont most people run .exe files without a second thought lol?
     
  18. out of ideas

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    It's not that android has to keep track of what is declared, it's actually when you write the code to access internet(for example), if you don't declare it in the manifest, the app wont do it, even if it has it in the code.

    So it cant do what isn't in the manifest. (for certain restricted things, like internet, camera, etc.)

    Apparently there has been apps to do this already, and it has been in CM builds, but it can break an app unless it is equipped to handle not having that access. Hopefully google figures out a good way to handle this, cuz it is a great feature to have.
     
  19. divinebovine

    divinebovine Android Expert
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    Yes, but that's not even the half of it...Windows, by default, hides the filename extension to prevent people from having to see such useful information, on the idea that it is ugly and people can't handle that kind of info. Therefore, people have no idea WHAT they're clicking, doubly so when someone names a file filename.txt.exe or something like that, making it display as filename.txt. Then there's all manner of stuff that runs unexpectedly from what seems to be an innocent click...you know all those pop-ups on shady web sites that look like an innocent WIndows dialog box? People are easily fooled by them.
     
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  20. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
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    Beyond Apps Ops, what Google needs to do is develop more granular permissions, or better yet, a tree-like structure for permissions - something like what you see when you do a custom installation of Microsoft Office, where checking a parent level automatically checks all child levels below it, which can then be unchecked individually or as part of their own parent/child branch. Ultimately this would separate permissions based on category and degree of privacy invasion. Under the current permission model, benign permissions are too often grouped with invasive ones, requiring developers needing basic functionality to request unnecessarily invasive permissions.

    Additionally, API calls must be made available so that developers can get the information they need without requiring blanket permission to peruse your data. A prime example would be an email app... when selecting recipients I should be able presented with a standard Android UI listing user names, and the app should only receive the necessary information for the recipients I've selected via the Android UI. There's no reason an email app should require access to all of my contact info.
     
  21. np6s4x

    np6s4x Well-Known Member
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    finally, the one thing i probably hate the most currently (mainly for the 'run at startup' permission that 99.9% of apps don't need, like any game or media player)

    one other thing i wish android had (maybe it already does and i just haven't found it yet) is a proper task manager like ctrl+alt+del gives in windows, cause the 'running' tab is completely useless for sure (nearly all apps that haven't been force quitted won't show up there even though they can still do push noti.)
     
  22. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Android Expert
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    I think there are two main reasons this is not being pushed, first that it might break some apps and second - and way, way more important to Google - it could allow users to prevent apps from showing ads.

    You have to remember that the primary function of Android is to drive ad sales :D
     
  23. Davdi

    Davdi Android Expert
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    most people don't understand Android permissions at the moment anyway.
    See - [FONT=&quot]Android[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Permissions:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]User[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Attention,[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Comprehension[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]and[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Behavior[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]-[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]-[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Symposium[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]on[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Usable[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Privacy[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]and[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Security[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot](SOUPS)[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]2012[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]July[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]11-13[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]2012[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot],[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Washington[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]DC,[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]USA [[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Adrienne[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Porter[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Felt (University of California, Berkeley)[/FONT] ]

    I can provide a copy, or quote the relevant part of my dissertation via Email/PM if appropriate.
     
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  24. newsmartphoner

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    I've had issues with many apps asking for way too many permissions and I was forced to simply not install them. When this comes out, WOW! Especially useful for those apps like Line and What'supapp and Wechat that ask for like 20 permissions each!

    Davdi, I am interested in reading the relevant part of your dissertation just for fun.
     
  25. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    The thing we have to remember is that the vast majority of these permissions are needed for the app to function properly. a simple example is "access to calls" or whatever. The app has to know when someone calls so it can go to sleep. I think when people mess around with these settings theyl realise more why certain permissions are needed :beer:
     
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