Google rumored to give Android users granular control over app permissions

Google rumored to give Android users granular control over app permissions
App permissions have been a bit of an Achilles heel for Google's Android, but according to a recent rumor, Google is working on a system that would give users control over the permissions that an app receives.

According to anonymous insider sources quoted today by Bloomberg, Google will take a page out of the Apple iOS book by allowing Android users granular control over app permissions. The new feature is said to be announced later this month at Google's developer conference in San Francisco. 

Last year, Google simplified the way app permissions are reported on Google Play, making it easier for users to recognize the permissions that an app requires. While this may have solved confusion regarding what an app gains access to, users still have to allow all permissions before downloading and using the app. This recent rumor suggests that users will be able to allow individual permissions for Android apps in the near future. For instance, if you can't see a reason why a flashlight app should gain access to your location, you might soon be able to block location access while still using those features that do not require location information. 

If these rumors are accurate, more control over app permissions would certainly be appreciated by privacy-minded Android users.

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23 Comments

1. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

It's about time for stock android to have this.

2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You mean it's past time for stock Android to have this.

8. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Agree. All I want from Android is to give me the total freedom to remove bloatwares as easy as removing useless programs in windows pc. People will say that I should root my phone and go CM or some other mod but I prefer keeping the looks of my Xperia UI without resorting to deep system tinkering.

9. james2841

Posts: 167; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

You dont need to flash another ROM/MOD to remove bloatware. All it needs is root and an app that removes system apps (or even just a computer + rooted phone through the terminal).

10. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

I know, it's way overdue. Still better than never.

11. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Says the guy who supports the OS that only gets new features a year or two after they land on Android.

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Because Android hasn't borrowed ios features. Don't waste my time.

13. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Totally! Wouldn't be using any Android phone today if the OnePlus One didn't come equipped with CyanogenMod, which has AppOps (previously introduced by Google, then taken away again) deeply integrated system wide as "Privacy Guard"...stock Android is just one giant spyware.

16. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Don't worry, iOS will get in 2 years time :P

3. Ashoaib

Posts: 3282; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

many android OEMs already have permission control especially Chinese OEMs... only big names in mobile business are not providing permission control

5. james2841

Posts: 167; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

It should come with a warning saying: If you modify the permissions on this app, the developers, manufacturers, and the android OS will not be held responsible for any loss of data, bugs, crashes, and errors that occur when the modifyed app is active or running. Soon people are going to disable Location and Network for Google Maps and disabling the ablility to read android browser's bookmarks then expecting another browser to import bookmarks from android's browser when they cry to the developer and post stupid reviews (You can find alot of them ranging from level slightly stupid to full retard mode). And that is why something like that warning should show up and stay up for 10 seconds when they choose to modify permissions. And the developer should be able to make an explanation for each permission show up next to permission to be disabled. It would be good for fake flappy bird apps with the ability to send messages.

6. AlikMalix unregistered

Why? Apple had this since 2007 and I don't see people complaining about disabled functions of certain features. And don't forget Apple users are stupid and don't understand tech and only buy phones as a fashion statement and all that. Are you saying android users are even more stupid than what Apple haters call iOS users?

7. james2841

Posts: 167; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

I was talking about where 10 year olds (only like 0.5% of all users) do it. But (all) iOS users would just switch to a dfferent phone and blame everyone who looked at their phone.

21. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

I think that there is already a way to disable Location from Google maps on Android. I think Xprivacy would be better because it will give wrong info to apps and that won't affect the work of apps. But yeah that would stop annoying people who rate an app bad just because it uses many permission, unless if they read the codes in the apk then they shouldn't claim that it uses illegitimate permissions.

12. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Hahaha, would most likely be a total joke compared to what AppOps previously used to offer. I wouldn't be using any Android phone today if the OnePlus One didn't come equipped with CyanogenMod, which has AppOps deeply integrated system wide as "Privacy Guard"...

14. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Excellent !!

15. sss_ddk

Posts: 76; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

"Last year, Google simplified...."??? They simplified nothing. They hid away essential permissons like internet/Wifi access. thank God for firewalls

22. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

You can see them at the bottom of the google play, and also on the PC web page are accessible with one button.

17. ciprian.ruse

Posts: 320; Member since: May 13, 2014

It's about time...

19. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

This was added in 4.3 but removed in 4.4. Luckily for us custom ROM users, we've had this control all along.

20. DBounce

Posts: 170; Member since: Apr 26, 2014

This is a double edged sword. It may be good for those that know what they're doing, but it's going to create problems for those that don't. And these problems with ultimately be reflected in app review ratings. I have to agree with James2814 a warning should be given as that permissions are removed. But I'll add to that and say that the app developer should also be notified should the user remove permissions. That way they will know if the app was deliberately crippled.

23. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

Google removed it before for the same main reason.

24. Z3R091 unregistered

It's a good move if Google make this. Because now only rooted device can do this.

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