Permissions Manager: Tell Your Android Apps What They Can’t Do

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Finally, you can stick it to Facebook.
Finally, you can stick it to Facebook.

Finally, you can stick it to Facebook.

Android users know all too well the sinking feeling you get when you open an app and there’s a long, long list of permissions that you need to agree to in order to download it. You might have to fork over everything from your location to your social media accounts to use some apps. Wouldn’t it be nice to have total control of those permissions?

Permissions Manager does exactly that. The third-party app, strictly for Android 4.3, opens up a feature of the latest version of Android app developers would prefer you didn’t know about: The ability to control, app by app, permission by permission, what does and doesn’t leave your phone and tablet. Need to shut off Facebook? This will let you do that. You don’t want Jay Z to have your location at all times? Can’t blame you!

This isn’t a hack, either: Google has included this feature as part of Android 4.3. True, it’s not technically open to the average user, either, but, hey, it’s your device, so what are they going to do? Not accept your money?

Honestly, you should download it as much to just poke around and see what’s going on as you should to control the apps in question. It’s fascinating what some apps want and don’t want, and you might be surprised at how much you’ve been giving away, this entire time, from stuff that’s from a “trusted developer”. Although it wasn’t a surprise the New York Times app abuses the alert feature because, come on, they’ll send you an alert if a famous person farts.

Screenshot from 2013-07-26 07:38:52

In short, you should get Permissions Manager because it protects your privacy, teaches you more about the apps you download, and generally sets the stage for better, safer, app use. And also to troll Jay Z.

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.

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