When you want to install an application on your Android device, you are required to agree with the permissions that the application asks, to be able to continue the installation. Sometimes you just don’t care about the permissions and continue it anyway, and some other times you may find some permissions unnecessary but you have no other options to continue the installation. Consider you are installing live wallpaper and the app asks to have access to some services that cost you money and your contacts, or a PDF reader application asks to have access to your locations (precise GPS locations) or be able to send text messages.
This issue gets more important when you are installing an app developed by an unknown or less popular team and you have no idea whether these permissions may harm your device with virus and malware or not. So what do you do in these situations? Do you care about the permissions and leave the application uninstalled if you find some permission unnecessary? Or you just don’t care and continue anyway?
“Verifying Before Install” feature was introduced by Google to reduce the risk of installing malicious applications, but this feature couldn’t prevent installing apps with extra and unnecessary permissions. So, Google introduced another feature called App Ops on Jelly Bean 4.3 which manages permissions for each application separately.
What is App Ops?
As mentioned earlier, when you install an application you have to agree with all the requested permissions and have to either agree with all or quit installation. To over come this problem, the latest Jelly Bean update comes with a kind of hidden feature called App Ops (See: Jelly Bean 4.3 Features).
App Ops lets you select the permissions you agree with and leave the other permissions unauthorized. In other words, you can let an application use your network communication as full network access, while disable this access for another application although it is requesting for such grant.
Since this feature is not finalized yet (We assume it based on the fact that Google didn’t mention Aps On as a distinguished feature for JB 4.3), you are going to need to install a third party applications to open the hidden App Ops permission interface. So far we have found these two applications to manage the permissions for each application on your Android device: App Ops Starter and Permission Manager.
Note that you don’t need to Root your device but you must be updated to Jelly Bean 4.3.
Now to control and manage permissions, you just need to open the application, find the application you would like to restrict the permissions, and disable unnecessary permission. For example if you want to avoid Facebook to use your current location, open the application, tap Facebook, and then make sure “Location” is turned off. You can also view other Facebook permissions as well as the last time Facebook used that access.