Android Police

Articles Tagged:

permission

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Android M Will Never Ask Users For Permission To Use The Internet, And That's Probably Okay

Google's initiative to put privacy and security back into the hands of users through a revised permission system has received generally positive responses. It's no secret that this approach closely matches the way iOS prompts users for access to things like the contacts or location. Aside from the possibility that permission requests could become annoying with too much frequency, this has proven to be a pretty effective approach. However, since the announcement, one sticking point seems to have emerged around access to the Internet.

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Android M To Introduce Granular Permission Control

Remember App Ops? Back in Jelly Bean 4.3, the feature could be accessed by resourceful users to switch on or off permissions for individual apps. By KitKat 4.4.2, the feature was completely hidden from users. Google's explanation was that App Ops was never meant for public consumption - it was devised for internal debugging only. But users had gotten a taste of granular app permission controls and wanted more.

After some rumblings earlier this month, we've seen information suggesting that - with Android M - that wish may be fulfilled after all.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
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Simplified Permissions UI In The Play Store Could Allow Malicious Developers To Silently Add Permissions

The latest version of the Play Store hit the scene a little over a week ago and introduced a tweak to the way permissions are displayed at install time, and it left some people feeling a little...uncertain. Gone is the ugly wall of poorly spaced, semi-specific permissions. The replacement is a short set of simplified categories, each with crisp-looking icons and buttons that reveal a brief description when tapped. Google filtered through roughly 145 permissions and narrowed them down to a dozen groups, plus one bucket for anything that remains. The list can be found here.

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Left: old Play Store.

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[APK Teardown] Google Play Services 4.4 Explodes With Android Wear Support, Firmware Installer, And Much More

There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Teardown

New Permissions And Features

The first thing many of our readers noticed before installing the apk manually is that it requires a stack of new permissions.

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Non-Default SMS Apps In KitKat Can Still Write To The SMS Database Using A Switch In App Ops (No Root Required)

First, we heard that KitKat would bring some changes to the API, breaking many of the SMS apps we've come to rely on. On the day KitKat was released, we were given a more full explanation, shining some light on the technical details and exactly what types of apps would be affected. But did anybody really think this was the end of the story? It turns out that a hidden permission exists which can still grant non-default apps the right to modify the SMS database just like they used to - no rooting required.

The discovery was made by XDA Senior Member Stefano Picciolo (a.k.a.

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CyanogenMod May Soon Allow Users To Revoke Specific Application Permissions, Cue Mass Force Closing As A Result

One of the ways Android protects application users from unwanted activities is by requiring every app to declare a set of permissions and allowing users to view those permissions during the installation phase. Don't like what an app can do? Just don't install it.

However, this all or nothing approach doesn't allow you to selectively turn off specific permissions, so if you don't like that an application accesses your phone state, you can't just disable that and still have the app installed. This forces you to either potentially compromise your privacy or miss out on what could be a great piece of software.

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Rovio Explains Why The SMS Permission Was Introduced In Angry Birds v1.5.1

The latest Angry Birds update v1.5.1 that hit the Market yesterday introduced a whole bunch of levels, support for lower-end devices, and... a new SMS permission requirement. This not only prevented the update from being installed automatically, but also created quite a bit of user confusion, or even panic, around the reasons why the game would ever need to send or read our text messages.

Rovio's own Twitter account, probably manned by one of those evil pigs, insisted it was a mistake that would be fixed Monday, which calmed some of us down, but the truth ended up lying elsewhere. In fact, it turned out we knew about it all along, but most of us forgot in the 2 months that followed.

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Achievement Unlocked! EVO 4G Now Fully Rooted, NAND Protection Defeated, Full Write Permissions To /system. Incredible Next?

Problems Gaining Root On The EVO

If you've been following the EVO 4G root progress, you would know that the current root status is incomplete:

  • the unrevoked method allows granting root to apps but doesn't allow writing to the /system partition, which means you can't remove applications added by Sprint and do any kind of useful hackery, such as installing custom recoveries or ROMs
  • toastcfh's original method (now known as Part 1), which grants write access to /system but only in recovery mode, which means you need to reboot your phone into a special recovery console to gain those write permissions.
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