Just a couple of weeks back, Google revealed Android 4.3 at its “Breakfast with Sundar Pichai” event. While the latest version still carried the Jelly Bean name and didn’t really come with any features we would consider groundbreaking, it did come with a few new features and some enhancements to some of the old ones that we covered in our summary of what’s new in Android 4.3. One feature that we missed in our coverage was App Ops – a hidden granular permission management system for all the installed apps, including system apps and the ones you installed yourself. However, there’s no official way of launching it in this release, and a workaround is using a launcher that allows you to add shortcuts of activities directly. If you don’t wanna go through that hassle but still want to be able to access the feature on your device using a normal shortcut, Permission Manager is built for letting you do just that.
Keep in mind that the app will work only on Android 4.3 and won’t even install from Play Store on earlier versions of Android, which is understandable because the App Ops feature isn’t there in versions of Android prior to 4.3 in the first place. If you own a Nexus 4, 7, 10 or Galaxy Nexus and haven’t installed Android 4.3 on it yet, take a look at our Android 4.3 installation guide for Nexus devices.
Permission Manager is available for free on Google Play Store, and serves just one purpose: allowing you to quickly launch the App Ops screen in Android 4.3 just like you would launch any normal app. Upon installation, the app adds two icons to the app drawer, one labeled Permission Manager that launches the app itself (and doesn’t serve much of a purpose), and another one labeled Manage Permissions for launching App Ops.
You needn’t launch the app itself to use Permission Manager; just tap the Manage Permissions icon to directly launch App Ops, and you’ll be able to use the feature directly.
A few words on the App Ops feature itself: it allows you to manage app permissions for individual apps at a granular level – something that has been missing from Android so far, and is an extremely welcome addition to the OS. As you can see above, you can not only see all the permissions an app has, but also choose the ones you want to keep enabled, and simply disable the ones you don’t want by using the toggles next to them. Apps are listed under Location, Personal, Messaging and Device tabs, according to the types of permissions. With every permission for an app, you also get to see when it was last used.
Permission Manager is available on Google Play as both a free version and a donate version, which work identically. You can grab the app using the link provided below.