I need to ask why (most) apps seem to be so invasive? I dont understand why an app needs to have so much access to personal/private as well as technical "stuff" on my/our phones.
What may seem invasive on one hand, may be nothing of the kind, but it may have to do with how the Android SDK works and certain functionality of the application. For example Handcent SMS. You understand of course that it requires access to your contact list, because it needs to be able to pull up your contacts. Obvious... but then it isn't (obviously) clear why it would need the ability to recognize when you are on the phone... but it does, because if you are typing a message, you would expect it to yield to an incoming call, right? Well, then it needs access to those services. And there may be other "privacy" issues because by getting access to that, they are "technically" available to see certain other information (even if they aren't using it). So, anything that it could "possibly" touch, you are made aware of it. So, then you see this long list of items that the application "needs" access to that makes no sense from a high level.
The warning err on the side of telling you everything, even when the application may not be accessing those functions. Make more sense?
I could probably explain it better if you gave me an application and the corresponding "rights" it is asking for that you don't understand.
For the most part no...but I understand your concern. Some apps may trigger some warnings prior to installation because they very well may need to access some settings. Take for example a texting program or other apps that take use of GPS or even have the capabilities to place a call within the program (service finder)...these will all trigger various warnings.
But caution always must be used. If you are downloading something that has no business accessing various areas then use your discretion and look in to it first. (whether raising awareness on here or elsewhere)
You get this information to be informed, and like I said, it errs on the side of safety to tell you everything that the app "could" touch, so you can choose whether or not you want to download it. Also, if you are concerned, I would simply wait a while before downloading a new app (or update) until others have done so first and take a wait and see to what you install on the phone.
You get this information to be informed, and like I said, it errs on the side of safety to tell you everything that the app "could" touch, so you can choose whether or not you want to download it. Also, if you are concerned, I would simply wait a while before downloading a new app (or update) until others have done so first and take a wait and see to what you install on the phone.[/QUOTE]
Sound advice. Thanks for clearing that up for me, I have a much better understanding of the need for access.
I'm bothered by a "Backgrounds" app that I've installed recently. The app, from Stylem Media, wants access to Personal Information, to "read contacts and write contacts". The app's purpose is to present an assortment of background images in various categories and install a background of my choice. Unlike a skin, I can't imagine any reason for a background image installer to need access to my contacts to read, let alone write.
The app is showing hundreds of thousands of installations, has a 4.5 star rating, and a great many reviews. Some of the reviews (though very few) bring up this point, leaving me wondering whether there is some purpose that I'm failing to consider or whether most people just aren't paying attention to what an app is wanting to do.
I'm curious whether anyone else has any thoughts on this.
Bear in mind I am not vouching for Stylem Media or anybody else (unless specifically stated otherwise), but if i am reading the documentation properly (and that is a big if since I am still getting acquainted with Eclipse and the Android SDK... in order to change the Background you need to create an object of type android.provider (also called a Content Provider). Now the subclasses of Android.Provider include MediaStore.Images.Media (which would be where they would get a handle to an image, and also Contacts.People.
Now whether or not they want to use Contacts.People is it part of the Class that they need for images (android.provider).
I neither approve nor deride doing it this way, as i am unsure if there is another way by declaring the subclass directly (I'm sure somebody will correct me if it is the case), but that is at least potentially why it would require something as batty as needing "access" to your contacts when just changing the wallpaper.
But as I said earlier... if you are uncomfortable with that... then don't use it. There are other apps out there, so you can either wait, or try and find something else with terms you are comfortable with.