The app info screens in Android M have become a repository, of sorts, for many of the cool new features brought to the latest OS. In previous versions of Android, I rarely found myself in need of going to an individual app's info screen. When I did, the actions I might have executed there were very limited. I don't know that Google necessarily wants you spending more time there in M, but they certainly built quite a bit more function into this interface. Read More
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.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
One of CyanogenMod's most popular features is an expanded version of the now defunct App Ops UI that debuted in Android last summer. The most recent nightly builds of CM have implement a new ability in App Ops. Users can now stop apps from starting up with a simple toggle.
Just hours ago the source code for Android 4.4.2 went live on AOSP, and now we already have our changelog from Al Sutton. With only four meaningful changes, this is probably the smallest changelog we've ever seen. That's not to say it isn't significant, as it further hides away App Ops and also shores up two fairly serious vulnerabilities.
The security fixes aren't much of a surprise. There is a patch to block the Class-0 "Flash" SMS attack we covered a couple of weeks ago. Instead of stacking each message onto the screen, the new behavior will display the first Class-0 message and queue up subsequent messages until they can be dismissed by the user. Read More
App Ops showed up in Android 4.3 and made it possible to revoke permissions on a per-app basis. It wasn't exposed in the main system settings, but it was easy to access. Then Android 4.4 made it quite a bit harder to get to, and now it appears to be completely missing in 4.4.2. What gives? Well, Android engineer Dianne Hackborn has indicated App Ops was never meant to be a user-facing feature in the first place.
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.