1. Download our Official Android App: Forums for Android!

Tips Managing permissions through Android 4.3

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by midnite_blue, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. midnite_blue

    midnite_blue Newbie
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013

    Jul 2, 2013
    12
    4
    16
    Seattle
    How many times have we wondered what in the world an app that we want is going to do with all the permissions it's asking for?

    A file manager wants to know my location, view my contacts, access the Internet and turn my camera on without my knowledge? Really? What, it wants to show my grandma what I do in the evening? : )

    Then, if you're like me, you begin the debate between the advantages of the app and the risks to your privacy and to the security of your device.

    Well, check this out:



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pknSczYxK4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Without rooting, Android 4.3 gives us access to “ap ops“ for viewing a list of all the apps we've given permissions to. It shows if they've ever taken advantage of having each permission and, if so, when the last time was that they used it.

    In addition -- and here's the part I really like -- for each app you can toggle off and back on each permission one by one. To do that, you'll need this app:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appaholics.applauncher

    I've gone through the drill, turning off lots of permissions. I can't confirm that doing so actually turns off those functions in each case, but it looks like nobody's been taking video of me watching cartoons!
     

    Advertisement

  2. midnite_blue

    midnite_blue Newbie
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013

    Jul 2, 2013
    12
    4
    16
    Seattle
  3. tanware

    tanware Android Enthusiast
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    53
    Posts:
    400
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012

    Dec 23, 2012
    400
    41
    53
    Male
    Retired
    Jersey Shore
    could it be because you opened Pandora's box :)
     
  4. midnite_blue

    midnite_blue Newbie
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013

    Jul 2, 2013
    12
    4
    16
    Seattle
    (Ouch... I walked into that one!)

    I tested another approach to this last night: Advanced Permissions Manager, aka Permission Master, apparently renamed a week ago (it still downloads as Permission Master).

    This app is available at the Play Store, but I wouldn't recommend it. It seems to do a decent job of showing an app's permissions but rather than removing a permission, it attempts to block its use by modifying the application package file. After a scary minute of watching a screen that let's you know it's busy 'modifying .apk files,' you're directed to a glitchy process of uninstalling the target app then trying to reinstall it. In my experiment, a) Permission Master got hung in the uninstall/reinstall process, b) the app I was experimenting with (Xfinity Player) became unusable and c) it was difficult to reinstall it (though I eventually succeeded).

    Of the two reviews of Permission Master on Play Store, the only intelligible one also reports this problem of rendering the target app unusable.

    The Android 4.3 update opens up a much more simple and effective procedure for modifying permissions.
     
    tanware likes this.
  5. tanware

    tanware Android Enthusiast
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    53
    Posts:
    400
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012

    Dec 23, 2012
    400
    41
    53
    Male
    Retired
    Jersey Shore
    Yes the update is much nicer. Very cool little update if you ask me and has it all over either Apple or Win8 for privacy protection control.................

    Edit; sorry could not resist that one, I did try for a second or two though............ :)
     
  6. midnite_blue

    midnite_blue Newbie
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013

    Jul 2, 2013
    12
    4
    16
    Seattle
    (I believe you.... I think! :))

    It'll be interesting to hear from developers on how they feel about this new user access to app ops.

    On the one hand, users modifying legitimate permissions could significantly mess with the functionality of their apps, for example, returning the dreaded Android.process.acore unexpected-stoppage message.

    On the other hand, feeling more control over permissions, users may become more likely to download apps that are making permission requests we don't yet understand. This could be a plus... with more users willing to download, devs may be interested in writing more apps. And now with users able to toggle permissions directly in app ops rather than through some bull-in-a-china-shop hack, devs could be more likely to invest their time writing graceful exception handlers for unexpected permissions states.

    I'm sure the Android community, with many users sore about being asked to grant permissions they don't understand, has many devs just as turned off by being mistrusted.
     
Tags:

Share This Page

Loading...