Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android

Cyanogenmod Puts Users in Control of Permissions 170

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the google-version-coming-in-20never dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Cyanogenmod is soon to have a better permissions systems, allowing its users to deny certain permissions to the applications they install. Users are warned that enabling this feature on the nightly build may cause applications to crash or 'force close', but a new dialog allows them to easily return the permissions to stock if they wish. Hopefully Google implements a system similar to this very soon." This is the biggest feature I've missed from Symbian — it never made sense to me why the permissions system didn't put the user in control from the first release.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cyanogenmod Puts Users in Control of Permissions

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:37AM (#36238198)

    This feature will never come to stock Android. Google makes their money from Android by delivering ads, which is what pays for all those free apps. If I could download a free app and block it's ability to connect to the internet, I instantly block the ads. You can like it or hate it, but the fact is this ability would cripple the entire current Android ecosystem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SharpFang (651121)

      There is still option of Google separating "obtain targetted display ads" permission from "Full network control"+"Phone location". Making the "ads" permission unblockable.

      I really am not happy that an app which does require access to my local filesystem can simultaneously send its entire content to a remote server and let the author track my location - when all I consent for is to display ads relevant to my city.

      • by mounthood (993037)

        There is still option of Google separating "obtain targetted display ads" permission from "Full network control"+"Phone location". Making the "ads" permission unblockable.

        Or let people block the "Ads" permission, and the apps can react however's appropriate.

    • by PReDiToR (687141) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @10:33AM (#36238698) Homepage Journal
      You mean like installing Droidwall [appbrain.com] does?

      It's in the market and on XDA-Devs.

      If you root you can use AdFree [appbrain.com] too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by poetmatt (793785)

      That's not crippling the android ecosystem, that's a benefit and adds value to the system as a whole. All these developers who act like they magically never existed before they made ad-supported apps can shove it and go back to the reality of : ads were never welcome, and developers can live without ad revenue.

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        That will only happen if you accept that most of the currently free apps will then go to being paid apps. Ads were seen as a compromise between helping the developer generate revenue so they could eat, and having to pay for apps. Removing that ability means that we're gonna go back to horribly crippled free versions, and expensive paid for versions.

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          we still have horribly crippled free versions. have you looked at what apps are today? It's not just "we made the free version the same as the paid cept you have ads".

          When did you think that wouldn't happen? Do you think developers are actually altruistic or something?

    • by Eil (82413)

      This feature will never come to stock Android. Google makes their money from Android by delivering ads, which is what pays for all those free apps. If I could download a free app and block it's ability to connect to the internet, I instantly block the ads. You can like it or hate it, but the fact is this ability would cripple the entire current Android ecosystem.

      I would almost believe your story, if it weren't for the fact that over the last 10 years or so I've been running a full-fledged desktop PC with th

    • by drb226 (1938360)
      But if the app depends on the 'net for it's functionality then the user won't block its internet access. Yay, DLC?
  • I had no idea what this was about until I read the tags. Context please, editors! Thanks, taggers.

    • by Azmodan (572615)
      There is also a "little green robot" next to the news to indicate that this is an Android related story. Hovering it says "Android".
      • by mdm-adph (1030332)

        Yes, but there was no icon to indicate that this was a "story." Without the tags, most users would probably have been cast adrift.

    • It occurs to me that since the redesign I don't see tags any more. Weird, huh? Not many extensions to disable, but nothing was specific to /. anyway...

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:51AM (#36238288) Homepage

    They need this feature for Facebook Apps.

  • Awesome! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:52AM (#36238298)
    That would seriously tempt me to try out Cyanogen if Google doesn't implement something like it in the near future, even though i've already got an unlocked Nexus. There are a number of otherwise great apps that i haven't updated in months because they decided to add Facebook integration, so "of course" they need access to my account details now. Sorry, not gonna happen.
    • by jittles (1613415)
      I switched to Cyanogenmod for Gingerbread and I haven't looked back since. I love it. I am thrilled about this feature and am now downloading the nightly as we speak! I am very excited.
    • And when you block that the app is just going to crash. Have fun when most of those apps no longer work.

      • most

        Citation needed.

        Sure, some will; for those the user has the option of running them with the default permissions or uninstalling. Whether they're "most" or just a small number remains to be seen.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Depends on what you block. If you block network, how does the app know that you just don't have a network connection right now?

        I use my phone without data when I go to Canada. No way am I paying verizon $30 for 75MB.

      • Blocking an app's ability to use Facebook integration would probably behave in one of two ways. Either it would act as if you are not signed into a Facebook account on your phone, or that you don't have the Facebook app installed. If either of these cause an app that didn't previously have Facebook integration to crash, then you are talking about some pretty shitty coders.
  • by pmontra (738736) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:57AM (#36238354) Homepage

    Foreword: I've got an old Nokia N70 so things might have changed a lot in Symbian.

    A very annoying feature of its permission management system is that it is too fine grained and it doesn't remember user decisions across different executions of the same app. It asks me allow/deny every time I open a file or folder (imagine traversing a 4 folders hierarchy, the SD card counts as one) and that's bad enough. Forgetting my answers when I close the app is even worse. Sometimes I leave the phone on in airplane mode at night not to have to go through all those dialogs.

    Android seems to have taken the opposite road. Maybe this mod implements a better middle ground.

  • Sure this is a great addition... for power users who are infallible.

    But for Joe Average and power users who fall prey to it (who doesn't?), it doesn't address the primary issue - called the Dancing Bunnies [codinghorror.com] or Dancing Pigs [wikipedia.org] problem. And it's a problem with every OS today - Linux, Windows MacOS X, Android, iOS, and others.

    A user will run through many hoops to get what they want. They'll root, jailbreak, install alternative app stores, etc just to save 99 cents for an app. Even if they have to do seemingly complex tasks like install an SSH server, run SSH, type command line commands, etc. It can be amazing how much technical skill the untalented suddenly have.

    And the problem is, these are the people that get pwned. Jailbroken iPhones with default SSH passwords. Android phones with botnets installed (courtesy alternate marketplaces), Windows/OS X trojans running botnets, etc. Heck, even Bender skipped his antivirus check for pr0n.

    And it's a really difficult problem to solve. Even if these options were global and set reasonably, you can anticipate some app telling you it works better if you do these things to let it get the permissions it wants.

    Hell, see the latest Facebook spamming trends [msdn.com], where people are doing things like copying-and-pasting URLs or godawful long javascript blobs. We're at the point where really, the Honor System virus does exist.

    • Waaaat?

      I think you've misunderstood - this feature does not allow you to enable permissions that were previously unavailable for apps - it only allows you to DISABLE permissions that you feel are unneeded by the app. There is no possibility for the user to self-pwn himself, only to protect himself...

  • If google were to implement this, how many apps *would* break because of an error on the permissions?

    Maybe I'm off base on this, but if I am please correct me... It's like if Linux didn't have file system permissions the way it does now.. let's say you could write anywhere without any restrictions, and then suddenly there's an update that locked down the file system with permissions the way they are currently. Since the existing applications would try to write to where ever they would normally write, they'd

    • by Zebedeu (739988)

      I have an app on the market. Usually I have no problems supporting users on custom roms, since my app uses the standard Android libs wherever possible.

      However, a few days ago I had a user complain that a new update started crashing on his device. Upon further inspection it turned out that his Android 2.2 custom rom was declaring itself as Android 2.3, and my app was crashing when it tried to call a method which was introduced in 2.3.

      This to me is what's scariest about these custom roms. They can turn into s

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev

Working...