Google has been thinking about more granular permissions control on Android

Google has been thinking about more granular permissions control on Android
While it is very nice that Android allows you to see everything on your device that an app will have access to in the permissions, it can get annoying that it is an all-or-nothing choice. For example, you may love the Amazon app, but you don't see any reason why the app should need to access your WiFi/GPS location data. Unfortunately, there is no way to deny that one permission and still use the app, but Google may be thinking about changing that.

At a fireside chat at Google I/O, Google software engineer Dianne Hackborn admitted that the Android team has thought about that exact issue, and has considered changing the permissions model to give users more granular control. This would mean you could pick and choose which permissions to accept and which to deny. 

Unfortunately, this is all just a hypothetical possibility, and there are no concrete plans to implement such a system anytime soon. There obviously would be logistical issues with such a system, because while Google may want to give users more control, it also doesn't want to cause instability in apps by blocking certain functionality. 

source: Google via pocketnow

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14 Comments

1. bvalde09

Posts: 191; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

" while Google may want to give users more control, it also doesn't want to cause instability in apps by blocking certain functionality" I guess its true but I would love to see this in a future

10. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

the first step of implementation: 1) just hide it in the app manager that only a just little more IT educated persons use 2) + some view according to type of permission 3) + unticked option "notify me when an app requires access to this permission" (I would immediately tick that) and every one would be satisfied very easily! and I don't need root at all :) and for the rest the state wouldn't be changed at all

16. Rager722 unregistered

Can you explain what to do so I can see what the apps are accessing in my phone. I'm new to Android OS, just got the HTC ONE

15. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

me too. I will be able to use Facebook app on my phone again if this was enabled. I currently refuse to use Facebook due to the required permissions to allow camera and mic use without your permission required.

2. rahulz

Posts: 117; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

That's a wonderful idea.. its remind me of Symbian OS where user can control evey action caused by apps like allowing data usage, sending sms etc

3. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

I sure hope this does come our way. Favorite app on Android: Settings

6. BadAssAbe

Posts: 508; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

Well a few years ago the best smartphone was running on a single core, so I should see this possible in a few months LOL Don't really see any technical issues Don't want GPS on? Set off and let the app read as GPS always off Data usage off, set app as " no data connection found" Should be easy for each app

7. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I think it's a great idea and something I have been missing in Android. It won't harm 99% of the people who will still give the rights and don't care about a thing, but for the power users (who will use it the most) it provides more control of what an app can do or not.

8. RichieRich

Posts: 1; Member since: May 21, 2013

If CyanogenMod can do it, I can't see why Google can't implement it too!

11. tokuzumi

Posts: 1948; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

CM had this ability for a while now.

12. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

The problem I see is that many programs may not have the ability to manage a non permission response from OS, I think that Google should give a time to developers adjust their codes before implement this kind of thing

13. soshi

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 08, 2012

fyi there is app call LBE privacy guard which enable this option

14. PaulNotFromSweden

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Only for rooted phones.

17. sswain

Posts: 56; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I’d like to see an OS where the user is asked to deny, grant, revoke, fake… data access for apps, just like cyanogenmod does, networking included. If tizen or Sailfish OS can do this… i will be a fanboy of them, and bye android. It would be nice the option to optionally block apps from accessing: Network (i dont think google is gonna give us this option, as its necessary for their incoming revenue model, ADS) UUID Phone Number Email Contacts Camera Location Microphone Photo, audio, video libraries GPS Identities ETC…

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