The latest Android update has been with us officially for only a few days now, so there’s still bits and pieces being discovered but a couple of cool piece of code points towards optional App permissions and 4K compatability coming to Android in the near future.
First up, Android permissions have always been a slightly controversial topic, they’re presented to users front and centre when you install Apps from Google Play but in reality most people ignore the screen and click next to get the App installing as quickly as possible. The controversy can be warranted when some apps request permissions for things that it technically has no need for and it seems that Google would like to give you more control over these arbitrary permissions by letting you switch them off one by one.
Android Police is in the process of going through the Android code and has noticed some options that point to the feature coming but in their words ‘It’s not really ready yet, so Google has hidden it’. The ability to turn off permissions does seem to work though – for example, the Facebook App, which is notorious for querying location constantly can be rendered blind by switching off the location permission.
To access the optional App permissions you can access them in a roundabout way which Android police detail in their post, but a better way is through an app called Permission Manager which has been created to access these settings. The App itself requires no special permissions to run, nor does it require root access, all it requires is your device be running Android 4.3.
Android Police caution, and I too would echo this, that these settings are really not ready for primetime, there are omissions such as prompts to explain to the lay user why certain functions in an App are not working. Google could also be looking into implementing this App permission layer at Google Play level, allowing you to select permissions at the time of install, who knows? But it will be good to see what can come down the track.