One of the strangest changes with regard to Android 4.4 was the apparent removal of the hidden App Ops menu. You remember this one – it was the interface that allowed you to restrict permissions on a per-app basis. Well, apparently it's still in there – Google just made it harder to find. Color Tiger, developer of Smart IR Remote has just released its new App Ops 4.3/4.4 app that pulls up the standard App Ops and can add new features with root access.

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The app you get from Google Play can open App Ops on Android 4.3 and 4.4. This pretty definitively proves the feature is still present, contrary to what everyone thought when the most recent installment of Getting To Know Android went up. Getting into App Ops under Android 4.4 has also given us a look at some new permissions that can be toggled. Perhaps most interestingly, apps now list Keep Awake (wake lock) as a permission that can be altered. So you should be able to revoke this and the app won't be able to wake up your device. It's like Greenify, but built into Android. Android 4.4 also adds a media category to App Ops. There's a big commit to the Android source code that seems to confirm there are a number of new permissions supported. Here's the full list:

OP_TAKE_MEDIA_BUTTONS
OP_TAKE_AUDIO_FOCUS
OP_AUDIO_MASTER_VOLUME
OP_AUDIO_VOICE_VOLUME
OP_AUDIO_RING_VOLUME
OP_AUDIO_MEDIA_VOLUME
OP_AUDIO_ALARM_VOLUME
OP_AUDIO_NOTIFICATION_VOLUME
OP_AUDIO_BLUETOOTH_VOLUME
OP_WAKE_LOCK
OP_COARSE_LOCATION

The standard App Ops interface is fine, but Color Tiger aims to improve on things for rooted users. This app can be used to download and install what they are calling "App Ops eXtended." The goal with App Ops eXtended is to provide additional features by installing the tweaked app to the /system/app directory. Right now App Ops eXtended only adds a search option to make finding apps easier, but in the future it will include the ability to revoke certain permissions by default, Tasker integration to disable permissions based on conditions, multiple profiles, widgets, and notifications to alert you to possible issues with permissions you have revoked.

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Not only does this app teach us something new about Android 4.4, it promises to really improve customization and privacy controls (for free). This is definitely something to check out. There is also a second app already in Google Play that can call up the stock App Ops interface too. Apparently Google did not hide it well enough. There are a few screens below to compare 4.4 with 4.3 (on the left) and how they show Google Play Services in App Ops.

Update: A new version of App Ops from Color Tiger is out, and it includes a pro upgrade with notifications, batch denials, and automatic blocking of certain permissions.

Screenshot_2013-11-24-23-00-43 2013-11-25 07.01.26 2013-11-25 07.01.51