Ahead of Google’s developer-focused I/O event at the end of the month, a new report filed by Bloomberg lays out one of the possible features in the next major Android update following Lollipop, currently being referred to as Android “M”.
With the new focus on mobile security and information control on smartphones, Google is set to be considering allowing full permissions control for apps in Android M, addressing a long-standing feature desired by many Android users over the last few years and the demand growing louder by the month.
Google previously tested an option for application permissions control in select builds of Android 4.3 known as “AppOps” that allowed users to adjust permissions on a per-app basis, but Google subsequently removed the option in further Jelly Bean updates, citing the feature being incomplete and prone to errors. As a result, many third-party apps have appeared in the Play Store that restore the AppOps functionality, but the apps only work on phones with Jelly Bean and are incompatible with newer Android versions.
Permissions control for applications is one of the key differences between iOS and Android, as iOS allows users fine control of app permissions on a per app basis, while Google’s logic for the lack of granular permissions control has been to maintain the integrity of app functionality, as removing certain permissions is claimed to render some apps nonfunctional.
However, there have been many types of Android apps released over the years with confusing and nonsensical app permissions that make many users wonder if some apps really do need certain kinds of information, which has led the demand for app permission control, and it seems Google may have finally relented with Android M.