Exclusive: Android L to Add Granular Permissions Prompts

Android L Permissions Prompt

With the announcement of Android L now finished at Google I/O, there are still a number of unanswered questions as to what’s actually likely to be coming in Android L. We mentioned some of the changes we know are coming earlier, as well as a bit more about the new design philosophy on the way, but there wasn’t much detail given over some of the new changes.

We’ve been taking a look to see what we could find, and XDA Senior Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD helped us root out what looks to be an interesting new feature–tucked away among all the other information about Android L and the new design philosophy are a few interesting gems. One of these gems comes in the form of a screenshot, which appears to suggest that the Android permissions system will be introducing some “at-time-of-use” prompts, somewhat like iOS.

As shown in the image above, it appears that the Permissions UI is extending to cover a prompt issued at time of use, allowing the user to allow or deny the location information. While these don’t, at a glance, appear hugely different to the existing prompts to enable Location Services, we suspect these are different and tie into the new Unified Data Controls discussed in the keynote. The wording indicates this permission prompt affects only the one app, which would appear to indicate that there will be some iOS permissions prompts when apps seek to access sensitive data, or use features which require permissions.

This would certainly be an interesting step forwards, as it would raise user awareness of what apps have access to, and also give users an option to disable an app’s access to the permission, if they feel it is excessive. We’ll know for sure tomorrow though, when the Android L developer preview lands.

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