No disrespect intended Mr. Smith but I do understand permissions. If an app can function without a particular permission, and then upon an update the permissions change with no additional functionality then you really do need to be concerned as to why.
If one app can have the EXACT same functionality as another app with one needing invasive permissions to accomplish the same end result the reasons can only be attributed to lazy work by the creator or the desire to harvest data.
Why would a "Factional calculator" need full internet access? Why would a compass?
Here is a perfect example, people download this kinda crap all the time without thinking about it, and this is nothing more than theft.
This application has access to the following:
- Hardware controlstake pictures and videos
Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.
- Your locationapproximate location (network-based)
Allows the app to get your approximate location. This location is derived by location services using network location sources such as cell towers and Wi-Fi. These location services must be turned on and available to your device for the app to use them. Apps may use this to determine approximately where you are.
- Network communicationfull network access
Allows the app to create network sockets and use custom network protocols. The browser and other applications provide means to send data to the internet, so this permission is not required to send data to the internet.
- Phone callsread phone status and identity
Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. This permission allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call.
- Storagemodify or delete the contents of your USB storage modify or delete the contents of your SD card
Allows the app to write to the USB storage. Allows the app to write to the SD card.
- System toolsretrieve running apps
Allows the app to retrieve information about currently and recently running tasks. This may allow the app to discover information about which applications are used on the device.
prevent tablet from sleeping prevent phone from sleeping
Allows the app to prevent the tablet from going to sleep. Allows the app to prevent the phone from going to sleep.
change system display settings
Allows the app to change the current configuration, such as the locale or overall font size.
modify system settings
Allows the app to modify the system's settings data. Malicious apps may corrupt your system's configuration.
Does a "Flashlight" really need all of this? I get some of them, it is using the flash so it needs camera access most likely, but location & network? I could be persuaded to get why it needs to know the phone state so it can shut off during a call. But, I think I have seen this app without that and it worked.
Accessing my SD card...thats a BIG WTF. (I am fairly certain that you can get a flashlight that does not require most of these permissions, but this example is just too glaring (pun intended)).
Would it run without most of these if I disabled them after root? I would be surprised if it would not. On the blackberry side of things if it crashed the app then you could delete it and move on. I want that back.
Many apps want full internet access when in fact they do not need it. Sure I can understand needing to get add supported apps this permissions, but many apps that do not even have a window for advertizing use declare the need for this. Not to generalize but a keyboard is a great example. The app using a keyboard may need access to the data, but the keyboard itself does not. If it requires updating you can get that through the market.
With that said I do wish to root this thing over selling it, I cannot find much on rooting for a newbie android user with a mac, I see a TON of acronyms and slang lingo, I was doing roots and new roms on the BB, but I gotta tell you some of the instructions work upon the assumption that we already know the ins-and-outs of this phone.