x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Android 6.0 Marshmallow app permissions: a closer look

Posted: , by Peter K.

Tags :

Android 6.0 Marshmallow app permissions: a closer look

After months of being simply known as "Android M", it finally became clear that the upcoming major version of the OS will be known as Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The statue of the Android robot with a giant marshmallow was erected on the lawn in front of Alphabet's most important subsidiary, Google.

Well, the newest developer preview of the OS, the third one, is here and it's already treating us to some of the new fresh features that were demoed during Android M's announcement and will make an official debut later this year, when Marshmallow is going to hit the supported devices.

One of these, which is an important addition to the OS, is granular control over the permissions each and every app requires, giving Android users "meaningful choice and control". Just like in iOS, apps in Android 6.0 Marshmallow will only you to grant them a certain permission immediately before the app needs it and not in bulk during the installation, like in previous Android installments. 

We got the newest developer preview, and as we were moderately excited about the new app permissions feature, we took a closer look at the new app permissions manager that pops up along with the recent beta. For the most part, it's the same one that could be found in the previous developer previews, giving you a pretty good understanding of the permissions each app has been granted.

Talking about granular app permissions, Android 6.0 Marshmallow officially introduces API Level 23, which is one of the requirements to have app permissions that can be granted on demand. All Android apps need to be updated so that they support the brand new API0 Level 23 libraries in order to introduce the individual granular app permissions.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow app permissions: a closer look
The permission manager can be found in the Apps section inside the Settings menu; once you go there, you need to tap the gear icon at the top, which will hence open the menu giving you access to the app permission manager. Inside, you're presented to a list view of various permissions, like body sensors, calendar, camera, contacts, location, microphone, phone, SMS, storage, and three new categories that came with the Marshmallow dev preview 3, car information, read instant messages and write instant messages. Under each type of app permission, you can see how many apps have been granted access to it by you, the user.  

Of course, they wouldn't be called "granular app permissions" if they didn't allow you to fine tune and disable permissions for individual apps. Tap on a given category and you will be greeted by a list of the apps that are currently enabled to make use of it. You can flip the corresponding switch and grant or revoke the permission in question for the particular app.

This makes app permissions way more transparent - users will have a much clearer understanding of what they're granting each and every app they install. Yet, the same can't be said for app developers, as they'll need to go through their apps and implement the new changes if they want to make use of the new revamped permission system without issues.

It is stressed by Google itself that developers should update their apps and extensively test out the new API libraries and revamped app permissions feature so that any issues and bugs can be ironed out before the sweet new Android officially launches later this year. Here's to hoping that the majority of app developers will listen to Google and update their software.

  • Options

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 06:43 3

1. shaineql (Posts: 421; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)

Sounds awesome

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 08:14 6

6. Aploine (Posts: 437; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)

But in the end isn't up to the developer to let you use the app with or without permissions? And all these years, all these apps how much personal info they acquired from our devices? Most of all Google itself

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 08:58 3

10. Oneight (Posts: 32; Member since: 04 Apr 2015)

The biggest fault of android is Google. It is creating a big data. In the end, Google could make use of the data to control the whole world.:( I am now trying to not use google service.

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 10:02 3

13. gustavoace (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)

Really? Control the whole world?

If NSA doesn't put hands on data, I think google and others use your info for statistics and to improve their services.... Or you truly believe that your life is in any way interesting to google? That they have people looking for only for your moves... This is not James Bond

You can always opt-out

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 10:35 5

15. Aploine (Posts: 437; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)

:-)) The biggest fault of android is Google, well said. Remember Google is Skynet.
Saying that Google or Nsa or Apple or anyone who has your life recorded in details, is not intrsted in you is so stupid. It's not if they are intrested in you now but when they will acquire that interest. If you are a reporter or a polititian or an important person for x resons they could target you easily. Eg, the name Snowden does it ring any bells? They even accused him as a rapist for cryin outloud!

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 11:18

16. neela_akaash (Posts: 1229; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

Already using this feature in MIUI for over a year.. and it's very useful as per my requirements...

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 15:08

20. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 575; Member since: 07 May 2012)


posted on 10 Jul 2017, 12:04

23. kgbme (Posts: 5; Member since: 10 Jul 2017)

"You can always opt-out", after everything you have had already been synced without permission, or ask.

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 10:09 1

14. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1737; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Your life is not that interesting. Google mainly just wants to target appropriate ads for you.

posted on 10 Jul 2017, 12:07

24. kgbme (Posts: 5; Member since: 10 Jul 2017)

And record and archive anything and everything ever entered on a phone; build a database of how different demographics communicate and what the interpersonal relationships are like.

We, probably, couldn't everything guess the million ways they're going to use it for - starting with tracking and identifying targets in case of war.

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 06:48 3

2. donrox (Posts: 192; Member since: 18 Jul 2014)

A step in the right direction!

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 07:03 5

3. Saioofi (Posts: 280; Member since: 23 May 2014)

"iOS is years behind android"

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 08:17 7

7. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

It is... Just not for a couple of features like this one... But for most of the OS it is

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 07:15

4. surethom (Posts: 925; Member since: 04 Mar 2009)

What if you choose No to one of the permissions, does it stop u using that app?

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 07:26

5. sss_ddk (Posts: 74; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)

Guess it will depend on the developer

posted on 19 Aug 2015, 17:57

21. An.Awesome.Guy (Posts: 410; Member since: 12 Jan 2015)

AFAIK it won't really stop the app, instead it will fool the app by giving it null info like it will give it empty list for contacts , black image for camera and so on.

posted on 19 Aug 2015, 18:05 1

22. An.Awesome.Guy (Posts: 410; Member since: 12 Jan 2015)

I don't see an internet connecting permission and in case there isn't then a firewall would be great for controlling apps getting through the Internet .
Remember to support developers by letting them send ads to you and not disabling such apps from internet

posted on 10 Jul 2017, 12:10

25. kgbme (Posts: 5; Member since: 10 Jul 2017)

OF COURSE that a rule-based firewall on Android is BADLY needed.

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 08:42 1

8. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1543; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)

Pity, I don't see the "run in the background" permission.
That's the one I am most interested in.

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 09:02 1

11. kalloud (Posts: 152; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)

There's an option in the latest developer preview called "inactive apps" where you can toggle apps that run in the background. It's found under developer options menu.

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 12:56

17. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1543; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)

I´ll give a look into it.

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 09:09 2

12. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 3523; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)

Run in the background or Auto-start? I hate that certain apps automatically start when I reboot my phone (luckily I have a rooted phone and Privacy guard)

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 12:56

18. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1543; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)

Run in the background, I also don´t like when I start an app and it keeps running in the background even if I don´t want it to.
I use greenify to to freeze them, I´m also rooted.
But if I had the option then I would not need root.

posted on 10 Jul 2017, 12:13

26. kgbme (Posts: 5; Member since: 10 Jul 2017)

Yes, "All Permissions" will display that an app can load on startup, but no way to control it without rooting the phone and advanced Android operating system knowledge.

The most important, crucial, things are (purposely?) kept out of our reach. :-/

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 08:50

9. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

Looks like windows 10 mobile ability.

posted on 10 Jul 2017, 12:13

27. kgbme (Posts: 5; Member since: 10 Jul 2017)

=0 ability

posted on 18 Aug 2015, 13:04

19. Awaragardiyan (unregistered)

did that on xiaomi's miui an year ago

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories