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Granular permissions control to be announced at Google I/O

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is finally going to give users control over exactly what permissions they want to grant to each app.
By
May 28, 2015
AA App permissions

Confirming a Bloomberg report from earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is finally going to give users control over exactly what permissions they want to grant to each app.

According to two persons familiar with the matter, the feature will be introduced during the Google I/O keynote today. The WSJ report lacks details, but the feature should reportedly bring the Android app permissions system in line with the more user-friendly approach of iOS.

Separately, Android Police reports that app developers will have to adhere to the new granular permission system by asking users to approve each category of permissions when first using the app. Besides in-app permission granting, the permission settings for each app will also be available from a new section in the Settings menu.

It’s not clear yet how exactly Google plans to handle the transition from the current model, which sees users granting permissions in bulk, to the new, granular model. It seems there will be no easy way for developers to prepare their apps for the eventuality that the user denies access to certain permissions. In other words, devs will have to figure what to do if a certain permission is denied –  in some cases, only some features will be disabled, but what happens if the user denies a permission that it’s needed for the core functionality of the app?

Granular permissions have actually been available in Android before, albeit for a brief while. The feature, dubbed App Ops, was hidden in Android 4.3, but Google removed it with the Android 4.4 update, claiming it was just an internal debugging tool.

We should find out everything about this cool new feature later today. Stay tuned with us for our extensive Google I/O coverage starting today at 9:30AM Pacific/12:30PM EST!