Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Android 4.3 has Hidden App Permission Manager

People  are growing increasingly weary about their personal data and how apps can potentially misuse it. There have been cases of apps that send your contact list details to their servers without telling you; and nothing stops any other app from doing the same sort of thing. And eventually will come across an App that you really want to use, but request far too many permissions for you to feel comfortable with. Android does tell you what an App requests for, but most people simply don't even care to read it. However, if you see a photo app requesting to send SMS messages, you might not agree with that.

Until now, you had only an "all or nothing" decision to make, but with the new Android 4.3 we see that Google is working on something that will put a lot more power into users' hands with an advanced app permission manager that allows you to select what apps are allowed to do on an individual basis. For instance, you could go into that app that is constantly making your device vibrate every few minutes and toggle it off; or inhibit an app from accessing your location, or camera. You have total control.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be ready for prime time yet, and Google has hidden it away (though you can access it using Permission Manager - at your own risk). This might have to do with the fact that Apps might just crash or return an error when they try to access something you've blocked, instead of stating that they're unable to do so due to your own settings - as well as the annoying issue of app permissions only being displayed after you've used them in each app. Meaning some apps might "hide away" what they're trying to do, until a later date, without you noticing it.

But, those are thing that will certainly be fixed in the near future... and then you'll have all your apps under your control.

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