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Every android app has a series of permissions which is granted at install time. Some google apps seem to be able to do some pretty global things that not many other apps have (eg. google now constantly reading the microphone to hear when you say "ok google").

Just wondering, are there any permissions which only google are allowed to have or do all apps have access to all of the same permissions?

can I technically create an app with any of google's features?

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Google's apps don't have any special privileges just for being from Google. But certain permissions are only available to apps that are preinstalled on the device (as opposed to installed later by the user), so some of Google's software gets special privileges by virtue of being preinstalled. On something like a Kindle Fire, which comes with Amazon's services installed instead of Google's, Amazon's software would get those special privileges instead.

  • "some of Google's software gets special privileges by virtue of being preinstalled." -- such as (permissions, that is) ? – Firelord Sep 7 '15 at 13:33
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    Ability to install other apps when sideloading is disabled, as the Play Store app does, is one. The full list of permissions includes some whose protection level is "system" (meaning it has to be preinstalled on the device), or "signature" (meaning that it has to be signed with a key that the system is preconfigured to trust). But not all the permissions there have a protection level listed. – Wyzard Sep 7 '15 at 13:49
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In android development you can access almost any permission who is defined here. While developing an android application, in the AndroidManifest.xml file you write down if your application will be using internet,microphone or others. In practical usage, to allow your application let's say internet, you write this line of code.

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />

Now there is one "special" permission. It is the Super User permission. Super User is also called "root". More about root or Super User you can read here.

  • downvoting because OP didn't ask for a general explanation of how Android permissions work, they asked about a very specific case (Google Apps). android.permission.ACCESS_SUPERUSER isn't relevant to OP's post, and overall this doesn't answer the question. – strugee Mar 12 '16 at 2:59

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