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Android AppOps (Privacy Guard)

Blog entry posted by Kyle, Oct 9, 2014.

I'm not sure if I've written about this before, but it's significantly a underrated feature that Google ripped out of Android 4.4 after introducing it in 4.3. You can prevent apps from holding wake locks, using your location, sending SMS messages, etc. Whatever permissions the app has declared, you can easily revoke them. The single thing that bugs me is some permissions seem to default to allow, like sending SMS messages. I have no issue going through the initial million popups that appear asking for permissions. For instance, if it's the cLock widget, great; take the location, thanks for asking! If the Calender App wants to read my Calender: excellent! If it's Dell Voice, no, I don't want you using my location, taking my physical phone number, or anything else about me that isn't an IP address.

Anyways, blocking Google Play services from taking a Wake lock seems to have increased my battery life 10 fold (ART on KitKat helps as well :koala:). I think the feature is partially in Paranoid Android. With that being said, the single time I used Paranoid Android they were in some dumb broken state where they were redoing the UI and had no features. I'm still using CyanogenMod on my Galaxy Nexus, grab a build from before the License changed (or accept it; I don't know) and away you go.
Tony the Tiger!! :D likes this.
  1. Zenzr
    I like XPrivacy. It works quite well.
  2. sajak
    I'm still on 4.3 on HyperDrive and I've always used AppOps and XPrivacy. AppOps is still extremely limited and doesn't do a thorough job. With XPrivacy, I can feed the app garbage data to keep it happy. Also, blocking Google Play svc will cause sync and GPS issues. There are other methods to disable sub-level services without disabling it completely.