Recent Play Store permissions changes have devs worried

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Google gives Android apps a lot more leeway than we see from Apple with iOS, and it helps keeps users advised of just what their apps are and aren’t able to do by means of the Android permissions system. Before installing an app, users are able to review what sort of access it needs, and decide not to go through with the installation should they find those permissions too broad. But recently Google attempted to streamline things by bundling permissions together, and not requiring users to approve the addition of new permissions during an automatic app update, so long as they were part of a group that had already been allowed. Now devs are raising the warning flag, saying that Google is opening users up to the potential for abuse.

The problem is how very different the impact can be of permissions within the same groups. A user may not think twice about an app that only gathers coarse location data, or is able to just read text messages. The problem is, devs can now push updates to apps with such innocuous permissions that step things up to do things like gather fine location data, or to compose and send new text messages (and possibly driving up your cellular bill in the process). For users who have set Google Play to allow for automatic updates, they’d never be apprised of these new permissions.

Android users concerned with keeping an eye on app permissions are advised to disable automatic updates and to manually review changes to their apps as they arrive.

Source: iamtubeman (Reddit)
Via: XDA-Developers

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!