Android 4.3 is out and even though it’s an incremental update at best, it did bring with a number of enhancements and features, including support for 4k displays. However, that’s not all Android 4.3 was packing. Underneath the improvements we could see that Android 4.3 has a secret feature that is, for the time being, hidden. Much like the multi-user feature in earlier versions of Android, this hidden feature can only be accessed if you know where to look for it. So what is it exactly? It’s a Permissions Manager.
Okay, here’s some Android 101. When go and download an app, that app usually requies certain permissions such as a GPS apps need to access your GPS so it can find your location and most of the time they make sense, but sometimes they do not. For instance, Facebook wanting to read your call logs. I have no idea why Facebook would want to read your call log, but it does. The idea behind this hidden Permission Manager in Android 4.3 is to give you control over what permissions apps are allowed to have. So if you don’t want Facebook to see your call logs, you can make/tell it to stop.
Android Police reports that this hidden feature is actually accessible to anyone who is running Android 4.3., so if you have that lovely update, this is available to you right now, but don’t know how to use it? That’s okay, I’ll tell you how. If you have Android 4.3 and you want to try out this permission manager, here’s our how-to.
- Step 1 – Have Android 4.3.
- Step 2 – Download this application. This app will give you access to what is called “App ops”, which is the Permission Manager.
- Step 3 – …
- Step 4 – Profit
I’m in the Android 4.3 Permission Manager. Now what?
That was easier than expected, right? So once you’re in the Permission Manager, you’ll need to know how to use it right? The first thing you’ll see is a list of apps as well as 4 tabs. The tabs are Location, Personal, Messaging, and Device. These organize your apps based on what permissions they use. If you download Google Hangouts, it’s probably in the messaging list. Things like your camera app will likely be in device. You get the idea.
From there, you can select any app on the list, then you’ll be presented with a list of every permission that the app uses along with a handy on-off switch. From here, you can turn various permissions on and off. So if you don’t want Facebook to read your call logs, you can Turn it off! Don’t want it to know where you are? Turn off the location permission, just keep in mind that the app will still work, but if you turn off certain permissions, you won’t be able to do those things. So if you, for instance, check into places over Facebook, and turned off the location permissions it will likely make that feature much more difficult to use.
The last thing I’ll talk about is what the Permission Manager can see. Some permissions won’t even show up until you use them in the app. For example, the “Camera” and “read call log” permissions didn’t even show up until he imported his contacts into Facebook and then posted something with his camera. Keep in mind that if you do try it out, you may have to fiddle with the app for a little bit to get all the permissions to show up.
Lastly you can probably imagine, this isn’t a fully working feature yet, but while something simple like disabling “read call log” won’t do much of anything as other permissions in other apps can. So if you you disable the Camera permission in your camera app, then your camera app will cease to function properly. If you disable Location in Google Maps, it won’t be able to find you in order to give you directions. The is the exact reason that this is a hidden feature and that is because it is not ready yet. If you do use the Permission Manager, you do so at your own risk.
Is there anyone who will be checking this functionality out? Or would you rather wait until it’s a live feature? If you want to discuss it, feel free to do so in our comment section.
his hidden feature is actually accessible to anyone who is running Android 4.3.
Android Authority: http://www.androidauthority.com/android-4-3-permission-manager-how-to-249538/
Android Police: http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/07/25/app-ops-android-4-3s-hidden-app-permission-manager-control-permissions-for-individual-apps/