Google Plans to Allow Users to Select Individual App Permissions Soon

google-play-update

Many casual Android users are concerned about the scary permissions list that appears when they download an app from the Google Play Store.  In fact, several sites have written articles detailing that these permissions are not as scary as they seem, but most users that aren’t tech savvy don’t pay attention. Bloomberg announced today that Google may have a remedy for this problem coming soon. According to Bloomberg:

Google’s Android operating system is set to give users more detailed choices over what apps can access, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter remains private. That could include photos, contacts or location. An announcement of the change, which would put Android closer in line with Apple Inc.’s iOS, is expected for Google’s developer’s conference in San Francisco this month, one of the people said.

This appears to be an effort by Google to further clarify permissions in their app store. Last year Google added more detailed descriptions so that users could be sure what portion of their device an app was accessing and why. While this seems like a good idea on paper, I have to wonder how certain apps will function if users choose to disallow essential permissions. This Bloomberg report also fails to mention how much control Google will put into users’ hands. I am all for giving the user more options and control over their device, but I hope Google doesn’t give the average consumer power they don’t need or understand.

Source: Bloomberg

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Jeff Springer

"I am currently a researcher and Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. I fell in love with Android with the Nexus One release and realized that it was superior to iOS in all the ways I care about. I still use a Mac (and an iPhone for the camera), but my Apple tech products pale in comparison to my number of Android devices (watches, tablets, and phones). When I’m not rooting/modding one of my many Android phones or doing math/programming, you can find me taking in Phoenix Suns/Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix, and drinking good beer!"