17
Jul
2011-07-17 10h38_53
Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see Which Is More Important To You In A Phone, Size Or 4G?

Quite a simple poll this weekend, and one that requires little explanation: do you read app permissions before installing an app, or do you just install with reckless abandon? Sound off in the poll below and elaborate via the comments.

Do You Actually Read App Permissions Before Accepting?

View Results

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • AndroidAddict

    I voted "yes," BUT I really don't check BEFORE installing. I run LBE Privacy Guard so I can allow or deny perms before running any app for the first time. You also can make changes at any time and you're asked to check again whenever you update an app.

    • David

      I am doing the same thing. I use LBE Security Guard. That way, when permissions are changed on an updated version of the app, it lets me know and I can approve or deny the new permissions. Great program.

    • Seth

      What are the permissions on that?

  • Droidlover

    Yes. Way too many fishy apps out there right now. i.e. this morning I went to appbrain (still one of the easiest ways of finding good apps) and I see this app:

    http://www.appbrain.com/app/battery-upgrade-200%25/com.batterysave4.savebattery.killer

    Nope, not at all fishy. Nope, permissions to send SMS makes perfect sense... sheesh.

    • http://www.ericcamil.com Eric

      it's already off the market. though 10k-50k downloads.. scary stuff.

  • HighTechTerror

    Yes, I check permissions, but I have never NOT installed an app I wanted or needed based on excessive permissions.

    I have left several comments on the application market page requesting reason for excessive permissions. Most have responded with legitimate reasons.

    HTT

    • Kane

      +1. Doing exactly the same without being overly paranoid and worrying that the large companies with proven track records are out to get me by including a permission I personally don't think should be there (there's usually a good reason for it).

    • Chris

      I wish app developers would explain permissions in their description without having to be asked.

    • http://lavadip.com HRJ

      What would be great is if the Market had a feature by which explanations could be added for each permission by the developer, to cut short this back and forth cycle.

      Preferrably, right inside the AndroidManifest.xml (which is where the developer mentions the permissions).

      PS. And if they implement it, they should patent it as well. I hereby grant Google all the rights to do so :P

  • JayMonster

    Yes, I check apps, and will be on guard for potential problems. Unfortunately though, thanks to a few rogue items, I think some people have gone way too far the other way, and decide for themselves what rights an app should have, whether there is a reason for it or now. Low ranking for apps on both the market and Amazon show the vigilante mentality of a group of these type of people that start giving 1 star reviews for apps because without knowing the reason for a certain permission, they predetermine what permissions the app "should" request and scream "fraud" without having a clue.

  • SheDroid

    Like folks said, I run LBE Privacy Guard so no worries.

  • hillbilliegreg

    Coming from a linux background, I find the google market ludicrous.
    Right now I basically use the F-Droid repository, its all open source apps

    • http://lavadip.com HRJ

      Open source != Safe
      Problems and threats can come from
      1. Severe bugs (memory overruns, etc)
      2. Less severe bugs (accidental deletion of files)
      3. Subtle user interface bugs (delete account was mistakenly named add account)
      No software is immune to these, not even open-source software.
      The Permission mechanism is a safety net which reduces the potential of these bugs to cause damage.
      Some Linux distributions have a similar mechanism called Security Enhanced Linux.
      So, NO, it is not ludicrous.

  • http://azpunk.com TPStank

    I take a glance, if anything. I really need to start reading more.

  • scuttlefield

    I would love to say yes, but honestly I mostly go on the recommendation of site (like Android Police) that I trust. They know more about these apps and have done more testing. It's not as good as knowing all the information yourself, but I feel pretty comfortable with it...for now anyway.

  • MpO

    I also run LBE Price Guard, and look at permissions for all apps. However, most people I talk to, that have an Android smartphone or tablet, want to believe they shouldn't have to look at permissions. Probably just like with their computers, until they do have a problem, they won't bother.

  • Scott

    I will no longer install games (or apps that are not designed to interface with the phone radio) that request "READ PHONE STATE AND IDENTITY".

    • http://lavadip.com HRJ

      +1 to that, especially if the developer doesn't give an explanation.

      To be fair, apps that were written at the time of Android 1.6 had this permission set by default. So the app might be genuine.

      But I am not gonna risk my identity on that.

  • z3ro

    I only check if it's an app I've never used before. Otherwise I ignore it, since I'm fairly familiar with the permissions it requires.

  • richardyarrell

    I pretty much check all applications and the requests that come along with them. I also have downloaded netqin which handles alot of this for me it breaks down all the applications and what they request before being downloaded. Generally if I want the application I will accept regardless but I do believe in looking at that first.

  • Coco hime

    Honestly I don't read permissions, maybe I should? I usually only download apps with a lot of downloads and reviews that are made by big companies tho. Hoping that if there was something fishy someone would have mad a fuss about it already. That's probably a bit naive of me. If it's a more less known app from some random developer tho I'll read permissions. Although I wouldn't really know what should raise red flags because it seems to me a lot of the permissions apps need are unnecessary. Maybe it would make a good article for Android Police on what to look for when apps are requesting permissions.

  • mskks64

    nope rarely only depends on the app. btw I totally suggested this poll on twitter a few weeks ago

  • http://goo-inside.me DrMacinyasha

    Absolutely. I look at what permissions an app blocks. If it's something that's asking for a lot more than it should, I'll reject it. If it's something where I know what the permissions are for, know the app, but want to stay secure, I'll use LBE Privacy Guard as well as CyanogenMod's Permission Blocking to stop what I don't want. Almost every app gets stopped from accessing my IMEI, and games no longer get to go online or access my sdcard when I know they're just for ads and Feint.

  • http://rootandroid.net Root Android

    Doesn't read it on installing popular and trusted apps.

    • http://www.pretentiousname.com Leo Davidson

      The way I see it, even a popular/trusted app could have a bug.

      If there's no good reason for the permission, I won't install it. Don't care if it was written by John Carmack himself.

      • JayMonster

        A bug would be the reason to read the reviews. Trust would be a reason to read the permissions.

  • http://www.pretentiousname.com Leo Davidson

    Strange way to split the answers:

    - Yes
    - Yes
    - Sometimes
    - No

    IMO, the two 'yes' groups should be merged.

  • richard

    Why no choice for "Of course not! Don't be silly!"?

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