Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Jul 2013 08:33 UTC
Google "Android 4.3 has a hidden feature! It's called 'App Ops' and it lets you selectively disable some permissions for your apps. Is some misbehaving app constantly pinging your location and draining your battery in a few hours? You can fix that now." Terrible name, fantastic feature. Also: finally.
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Comment by Tractor
by Tractor on Fri 26th Jul 2013 09:06 UTC
Tractor
Member since:
2006-08-18

ah, this was about time !
I've uninstalled so many applications because they use rights I don't want them to access. The "rights setting" is so much abused nowadays, with many applications feeling normal to track you, log you, get access to your list of contacts, get the right to send overcharged SMS in the background, and so on.
Since 99% of users never try to understand what all this complex thing means, it works too well, and therefore is too large a temptation.

Edited 2013-07-26 09:07 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Tractor
by moltonel on Fri 26th Jul 2013 09:24 in reply to "Comment by Tractor"
moltonel Member since:
2006-02-24

I have a feeling this feature is taking that long to arrive (it's not fully there yet) because Google wanted to please app developers more than users.

Now that
* Android is comfortably established as a must-support platform
* Permission-abusing apps/malware is becoming common
* CyanogenMod has shown the way
* Users are becoming more proficient
The feature's absence was becoming more painfull every day.

Hopefully as this becomes mainstream, apps will learn to not take install-time permissions for granted, and to behave well when one perme is missing.

The risk is that the app might disable itself completely if its money-making permission is disabled, but that seems to be fair game.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Tractor
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 26th Jul 2013 14:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tractor"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

CyanogenMod had permission revoking in version 7, but there were a few problems with it:

1) Apps would often crash if it tried to do something that was blocked by the permission it no longer had.

2) App developers weren't happy that users were able to cut out their revenue stream by denying things like the network permission for simple apps that otherwise didn't need the internet.

CyanogenMod was actually working on a newer version that would only allow certain permissions that wouldn't be related to revenue generation to be faked. So it wouldn't block the permission, it would just return fake data.

From the looks of it Google is thinking on the same lines.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by Tractor
by olejonbj on Fri 26th Jul 2013 09:49 in reply to "Comment by Tractor"
olejonbj Member since:
2012-08-12

Here's an idea: Instead of granting an app all permissions when you install it, why not force apps to ask for each permission when the app actually need it?

That way, if an app asks for access to your contacts list , and it makes no sense based on what you try to do in the app, people will probably answer no. The app should also explain why it needs it when asking. iOS works a little bit like this, but with far fewer options when it comes to giving apps access to different things.

Reply Parent Score: 4