Saturday, May 9, 2015

Google to allow users to restrict app permissions

The mobile platform evolution has made apps face a growing number of restrictions whenever they want to access potential sensitive data/features on our mobile devices. And soon, Google will finally allow us to better manage those permissions on Android.

When we install an Android app, we get to see the list of permissions the app is asking for: things like accessing the camera, GPS, contact list, SMS, etc. The problem is that the only options you have are to accept it all, or to not install the app at all. There's no middle-ground.

This makes it hard to try an app that we might want to have, but is requesting for one too many permission we're not willing to give it. Maybe it's a calculator app requesting access to your contact list or camera (why should it do that?) or maybe it's a social app that you don't want tracking your location and wish to remove it's GPS access. Something that will soon be possible, as Google will give us the option to allow/disallow each and every permission for each app.

This is something users are already doing on the rooted devices, or using alternative Android versions (like Cyanogen) - but it sure will be nice to see it coming to Google's own "official" Android.

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