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General Firewalls and apps

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by JAy3001, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Android Expert
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    Just a general few questions on android.

    Firstly when you download an app for the first time, but do not run it can the app run in the background the moment it lands on your device or does it have to be ran once for background processes to start?

    Secondly, Firewalls! I've used avast firewall on 2 of my devices and generally it seems to work quite well. Unless the app uses any google services such as Play Games for achievements or pay services.

    But what is the general opinion of firewalls on Android, good, bad or useless? Personally I feel as users we need the option to block unwanted permissions from apps.
     

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  2. codesplice

    codesplice Elite Recognized Moderator
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    I'm not developer, but I do believe there's a way for an application to automatically start a service (not a UI, just a background service) when it's installed. I don't know how many apps make use of that, though; Plan B is the only one that I really know of - and it only works on 2.0-2.3 versions of Android, so that option may not even be available for apps anymore.

    Looks like that data is all out-of-date. I can't find any indication that apps are able to auto-start a service upon installation on Android 4.x+.

    On the firewalls question, it really depends on what you're hoping to do with the firewall. Are you wanting to block ads, control application permissions, or prevent apps from phoning home to a server in China? You'd probably be better served by three different apps for those three different goals. Personally, I use Network Connections to keep an eye on what apps are talking to what servers. I can then uninstall the sketchy ones or configure a firewall app (I use AFWall+) to block the connection.

    I don't generally worry with blocking ads or managing permissions. I'll gladly pay a buck to remove ads from an app/game I enjoy, and I don't install applications which request unnecessary or potentially harmful permissions.

    That said, those are just my uses. I'm sure others will have differing opinions or needs.
     
  3. electricpete

    electricpete Android Expert
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    Codesplice probably knows more than I do. But out of my ignorance and an abundance of caution, I assume an app is capable of running the moment you install it. AFwall whitelist mode prevents newly installed apps from accessing the internet until you manually allow it (by checking the boxes for that app)
     
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  4. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
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    @codesplice is indeed correct about apps not being able to auto-run since Gingerbread (v2.3).

    That was indeed Plan B's claim to fame (rightly so, I might add).

    Apps cannot autostart after install unless you're using something like a integrated development environment (IDE) such as Eclipse, etc. that will auto-launch the app you're developing.

    Installing an app on a version of Android higher than 2.3 requires that you explicitly start it, even if you push it to your device from the outside of your device via the Google Play Store. You'll still have to launch / open it.

    This was indeed an Android security change/enhancement that occurred after Android 2.3.

    :)
     
  5. codesplice

    codesplice Elite Recognized Moderator
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  6. electricpete

    electricpete Android Expert
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    Good info.
    I stand corrected. Thanks.
     
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  7. codesplice

    codesplice Elite Recognized Moderator
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    No worries! - your approach adds another layer of safety for folks who are extra-concerned about that sort of thing. :thumbsupdroid:
     
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  8. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Android Expert
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    There are some fab replies here. Thank you to all who replied.

    Its great to know that an app cannot just run the moment you download it. I personally used my firewall to block ads firstly, and secondly to block internet access to games I may want to play that were f2p, but had horrendous permission issues.

    Currently not rooted as I'm having fun with my nexus 6 before messing with it.

    Thanks again for the replies. :)
     

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