Given all the hoopla surrounding the security loopholes in Google’s mobile operating system, Android, and the extent of damage that certain apps can cause using your personal data/information by just being granted access to specific aspects of your device, it is only fitting to have a solution for managing these permissions accordingly. If you have root access on your Android device and feel the need to tighten the reigns on certain user apps (prevent social media apps from accessing contacts or GPS, for instance), Permissions Denied may be the answer you’re looking for. The freeware allows you to monitor, block, restore and back up permissions for all apps installed on your device. It even lets you block and enable each of its own permissions.
The interface is simple and easy to use. The app’s homescreen displays a list of all user apps, specifying the total number of permissions, number of active and disabled permissions and the package name for each. Tapping an app displays each of its permissions with a detailed description and its current status.
To toggle (activate/block) the status of a permission, simply select it, hit Menu and tap reboot. You will have to reboot from within Permissions Denied to apply the changes made to an app’s permissions.
From within the Advanced Options screen (Menu > Advanced Options) you can reactivate all blocked permissions (Restore All Permissions), permissions for selective apps (Fix Permissions), block/activate the permissions of the app itself (Master Control), backup existing and restore backed up permission statuses (Backup).
We tested the app successfully on an HTC Desire running MIUI (1.4.29) and a Nexus S running stock Android 2.3.4.
The app is available
for free on the Android Market. However, if you’re feeling generous and would like to support the developer, you can buy the $2.99 (AOTW) donate version. Download Permissions Denied For Android (Free)
Download Permissions Denied Pro For Android (Paid)
Update: The free version of Permissions Denied for Android seems to have been pulled from the market, whereas the paid variant still exists. The developer has increased the app’s price to $4.99. Using the link provided above, you may download the paid version to your Android.
If, however, you are in search for a free alternative, then you might want to take a look at Privacy Protector – a similar Android app that allows users to tinker with app permissions on a per-app basis. In addition to letting you modify geolocation and/or internet permissions of your favorite apps, Privacy Protector sports various system toggles to help you with triggering GPS, mobile data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth etc. right from within the app.