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Is there a list of permissions with more detailed descriptions available? The standard ones doesn't feel good, and I don't trust developers who write that they need permission X only to do Y--if their app requires permission X, this app will be able to do anything permitted by X, not only Y.

For example READ_PHONE_STATE is described as "Allows read only access to phone state" -- but what is included in that phone state? Is it only connected/disconnected? Or maybe it includes phone number I am actually talking to?

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Be welcome at our Community wiki on What do the permissions that applications require mean? – Izzy Mar 24 '13 at 20:29
Oh: And a little more detailed, at IzzyOnDroid’s permission list (disclosure: that’s my site ;) – Izzy Dec 30 '14 at 11:12

I can't find a good complete list, but you can always search for the permission on In the case of READ_PHONE_STATE, it does look like the phone number can be read.

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I'm a programmer, so I'm OK with this. But it would be much easier if there was a explicit mapping: permission -> list of allowed calls... – liori Apr 13 '11 at 13:10
I agree. Maybe if I have time I'll search them all out and compile a list ... – Matthew Read Apr 13 '11 at 13:13
I believe when you install an app it gives a sort of "lay mans" description of what the permission does. – Bryan Denny Apr 13 '11 at 13:50
@Bryan Denny: as I wrote, description of some permissions are too vague. For example, what is phone state, actually? – liori Apr 13 '11 at 14:59
@liori that's just the problem (and I know, this is what you are initially asking). The dev docs only link to this… which is nothing more than the "lay man" description given. Doesn't say what functions use each permission (that would be nice). So there is no mapping. @Matthew's idea of searching for what uses it is about all we have to go on. – Bryan Denny Apr 13 '11 at 17:19

This blog post tries to explain permission:

If you really need to know the specifics of each permissions, you can download and grep Android's source code (it's open source, after all). I think that's the best we can do for now.

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This does look like a good text. But it doesn't mention the thing found by Matthew Read in the other answer. Thanks! – liori Apr 14 '11 at 16:11

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