App Ops Brings Granular Permissions Control to Android 4.3
Say it with me: It’s about time! While not officially released yet (and although similar functionality has been possible via root in the past) granular permissions management is unofficially on its way to stock Android. In fact, if you’re willing to take a few seconds to create a custom shortcut, an incredibly easy task on most aftermarket launchers, you can access it now from any Android 4.3 device. There’s even a simple option for those more content with the stock Android 4.3 launcher as well.
Thanks to some sleuth work done by Ron Amadeo over at Android Police, App Ops was discovered in the current build of Android 4.3 (JWR66v). Getting it to work is as simple as creating a custom shortcut that points to the activity: Settings -> App Ops. While this technically offers nothing that wasn’t already possible via root, it’s great that Google is on its way to allowing unrooted users control their privacy so granularly.
As described in the source article linked below, however, the feature is far from perfect. Currently, the permissions that can be toggled only populate after each is used. This is both less intuitive and less functional than simply accessing the list of declared permissions from the app’s AndroidManifest.xml file. Furthermore, there is no user-visible alert when a permission is denied, which would ease troubleshooting if denying a particular permission leads to application issues down the line. That said, it is nice that App Ops allows you to see the last time each permission was used.
While making a shortcut to a specific activity from custom launcher is no big deal, doing so on the stock Android 4.3 launcher is not possible. However, Senior Member mrx8836350 created an installable APK that creates the requisite shortcut for you without the need for a custom launcher. More information on this feature can be found in XDA Recognized Contributor Disturbed™‘s Android 4.3 general information thread. To get the shortcut on the stock launcher, visit mrx8836350’s application thread.
Source: Android Police
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member nikwen for the tip!]