PRIVACEY: I want it at all costs. How to set permissions like Blackberry?

Discussion in 'HTC Rezound' started by Coupe, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Coupe

    Coupe Member

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    OK, this is my first Android device and after owning this for a year now I can tell you this is a horrible OS on a good device.

    I think I either need to ROOT this thing so I can get some sort of control over the permissions or just sell it and go back to a BB or worse, a dumb phone.


    Do we have a simple "one click root" for the current Rezound OS? I really dont need to install other versions of an OS or anything, I just want to be able to install a permissions manager that requires root. I want a good keyboard but they all seem to want to rape the user and the funny part is nobody says anything, this in and of itself is alarming to say the least.

    I do see some apps that do this for an unrooted device like "permission manager" and "Permissions manager" but I dont know if these really work that well. I am trying them out with limited success. Does anyone here have any experience with these apps?
     
  2. Bratster2

    Bratster2 Member

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    Could you give some examples of the keyboard apps you mention? What permission you don't like?
     
  3. Coupe

    Coupe Member

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    Pick one. Why does a keyboard need full internet access?
    Why would a calculator or drink mixing app need access to your phone calls or contacts? Seriously this is the dark secret that nobody ever talks about and it should be getting attention from Google and maybe even the US government in the form of new laws to protect privacy. Apple kinda does this stuff for you (They claim) but Blackberry had it from its early days, if you blocked a permission on a BB and the app crashed, you just deleted the app. With the android OS you dont even get a vote and most people dont have a clue what they are downloading.
     
  4. Bratster2

    Bratster2 Member

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    Well if your talking free drink mixing apps, if it has ads there is the reason for internet access.

    For keyboards, internet would be used for getting all the language packs they support.

    I searched calculator on play and the first 3 there don't need any odd permissions.
     
  5. Bratster2

    Bratster2 Member

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    Also a lot of keyboards use your contacts for when you are typing a name so it needs contact perms then
     
  6. Coupe

    Coupe Member

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    Keyboards did exist without internet access, you just needed to download the emote or plug ins separately etc.. The free apps are the worst, paid apps may require a different set all together but that is for another thread.

    AFAIK a keyboard does not necessarily need access to contacts, the app that is using the keyboard does.

    Why dont you run Aspotcat or the like on your phone and take a look, I am certain you will get a surprise, but I am sure you will be fine with all of the red dots or red flags, it seems most people are.
     
  7. Bratster2

    Bratster2 Member

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    Didn't see any red dots or flags that you mention. I did look thru all my apps to see what permissions they had. Nothing surprised me, its all the same stuff I saw when I decided to install whatever app it is.

    I also don't just install any random app like most people do. (I'm not putting you in that category) I do agree with you people need to be aware of what the hell they are installing.
     
  8. Coupe

    Coupe Member

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    At this point I am going to guess that I need to find a tutorial on how to root this Rezound on a MAC, not an easy option from a cursory search. It seems that android users dont use macs.
     
  9. Bpowder33

    Bpowder33 Member

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  10. MrSmith317

    MrSmith317 Moderator
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    Ok, first thing's first. You need to properly understand Android permissions. They're very generalized, so if an app says it needs access to your phone calls, typically it means, that the app needs to know when an incoming call is going to interrupt the app. I wrote a very long and drawn out post on this somewhere but get to know your permissions and what they do before thinking that everyone is out to get you. If you want to root your phone, see the thread in my sig.
     
  11. Coupe

    Coupe Member

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    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.
     
  12. MrSmith317

    MrSmith317 Moderator
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    Believe it or not I try to go as low level as possible in my guide. Try reading it and see if you can follow along. For the most part Mac will use the same directions as a linux user. As far as the permissions, again some are misleading and some are precisely what you think they are. I'll give a full example

    Steam:
    Storage - Why does a non game app need access to storage? Simple. To store cached data.
    Network Communication - In this case Steam will download and interact with the servers on the internet
    Phone Calls - Why would steam need this? Many apps use this to read your phone's unique ID for licensing
    System tools - There's a ton of good uses for this one. Such as keeping your phone awake, rebooting the phone etc.

    Also some good reading: Android Central Community Search | Android Central

    Regarding the app you listed, what app is that? I mean it sounds sketchy but if it includes something like a task manager, then some of those permissions could make some sense.
     
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