Last Updated on August 10, 2016
Some people might not be familiar with Android app permissions. When you download an app or game from Play Store, the information that app/game can access is called permission. For example, an app might want permission to see your device contacts, email, camera or location.
Sometimes, when you download apps from Play Store, some apps will ask for permission to use certain information (location, contacts etc) before you can install them. These permissions are hardware features needed for its required app to use. For instance, a weather app may not effectively work well without gaining permission to your location, Camera app cannot also work without gaining permissions to your device camera, a dialer app also cannot without gaining list of your contacts etc.
In app development, developers choose which Android app permissions to use by exploiting its system resource.
What do I mean by denying some untrusted Android App Permissions?
A media player cannot seek permissions to your contacts, location or SMS. What does media player ( Audio or video player) do? It looks for media in its programmed file type (.mp3,.wav,.mp4,.wma etc) in your storage and then plays them. A media player would only ask you for full network connection for lyrics matching and storage for media scanning. In a case where you are required location, camera, microphone, sms or calendar then something else might be intended.
I would allow full Android app permissions to trusted app developers ; Adobe, Facebook, WhatsApp, Microsoft, HTC, Sony because i believe they have got trusted end user agreement. But granting permission to these road-side app developers might be risky. I respect them because they have got the skill to develop apps. They offer us free apps sometimes with constantly popping ads of which is normal. But their background processes is not quite recommendable since the app functionality is limited.
How to spot the untrusted App permissions
When you a very good look on the image above, it is a music player. Although i did not download this apk, it just pop up like this for me to install. That is ads! Aside ads, it is a mere music player without a brand name. Music player is a function it plays. Every app has a unique name like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, MusicXMatch and so on.
You should observe numerous permissions an ordinary music player seeks to gain. It reads phone status and identity reroute outgoing calls, reads your message, take pictures and videos, location, read web history, find accounts on the device and wow! When a music player leaves it role function to playing us some sounds into what it is not expected to do, it becomes a malware – apps intended to steal information from user. I should probably write on it.
How do I check Permission in Apps
You can check permissions on any app before installing through Play Store. When you tap install from Play Store, the app comes up with its permission. It is now left for you to consider whether to install or not. To check permission of already installed apps, open your device settings > App / App manager > navigate to any app.
How to deny Android App Permissions
From Android 6 and later, you can turn on and off permission under device settings. For lower versions, there are apps to help you accomplish this. I would recommend APK Permission Remover for you. It has two options;
- Open an apk
- Open an app
The first option, open an apk, allows you to browse any apk file in your storage. The second option opens already installed apps on your device. Depending on which option you choose, either tick to select or deselect permissions then save and re-install. Click here to download APK Permission remover
NOTE: Turning or denying permissions to your apps may cause your apps to loose functionality. For example; if you turn off microphone, contacts permission in WhatsApp, you are likely not to record message, view WhatsApp contacts again. Denying permission to apps is recommendable to apps that do not necessarily need them.