Android 4.3 hidden feature lets you tap into app permissions

A hidden feature called App Ops in Google's latest OS update allows you to turn off certain permissions for your apps, says Android Police.

Permission Manager
Permission Manager Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Android users can now control the permissions granted to their apps, courtesy of the latest flavor of Jelly Bean.

Available only in Android 4.3, a hidden feature known as App Ops displays the various permissions granted to different apps, according to blog site Android Police. For example, the feature can show you which apps detect your location, read your calendar, and access your contacts.

Much of this activity is normal as you'd want an app such as Gmail to access your contacts. But you may want to peruse the list anyway to see what's going on behind the scenes so you determine whether you want to tweak any permissions.

Android 4.3 users can download a third-party app called Permission Manager that offers direct access to the permissions settings. Still, as as described by Android Police, the process for hunting down and changing permissions sounds kludgy and can be a bit problematic. Even adventurous users may want to proceed with some caution.

Google unveiled the latest version of Android on Wednesday. Google and Sony are two vendors who've already promised the Android 4.3 update for their current mobile devices.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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