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Users often tend not to look at App permissions, while installing from Play Store, either out of ignorance or for other reasons. Permissions in Marshmallow are less granular and bundled compounding the problem

Is there a way to easily find alternative apps ( within Play Store) having same functionality but asking for lesser permissions?

  • Thought about it, in vain. By my experience, the only way to find not only less permission-hungry, but also more lightweight apps, is to manually surf the internet, and to pull out the best of one's Google-Fu, and sometimes even this doesn't help (no alternative to Google+, in my case). It seems that people are not intrigued by the obvious benefits of alternative software, rather preferring already sailed waters such as those apps coming either from well-known developers, or advertised ones. That's why FOSS apps are difficult to find: too much work and too few satisfaction. – Death Mask Salesman Oct 26 '16 at 9:32
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    Well, it's nice that you were able to answer such a question, and the methodology seems intriguing. I'll probably try it myself. – Death Mask Salesman Oct 26 '16 at 10:07
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    Well, my opinion is that such an app would greatly improve this aspect of end-users' security. From a tester's point of view, I can say that, while the app is pretty young (less than a hundred downloads), its premises are good. It sometimes confuses some apps with software of similar kind, but that's usual in tools that make use of natural language processing. It could be improved by checking if the list of suggested alternatives contains also a Pro key (or unlocker of sorts) that shares part of the name with the scanned app, and avoid mentioning it. – Death Mask Salesman Oct 26 '16 at 10:21
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    Consider the following scenario: the app Titanium Backup ★ root is installed on your device. After launching SecuRank, you see the app Titanium Backup PRO Key ★ root listed as potential alternative. Now, you're a skilled user, and know that this is not a suitable alternative, but another user might not be so aware. – Death Mask Salesman Oct 26 '16 at 11:07
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    @beeshyams Only drawback: You first have to install the "bad app(le)" to get "better recommendations", if I understood that correctly. StripSearch and my page can be used before you "infect" your device :) – Izzy Oct 26 '16 at 12:38
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Yes, good news is that there is an app released on Play Store recently for that SecuRank :

Use SecuRank to find safer alternatives to the GENERAL-PURPOSE apps you have installed. SecuRank automatically scans your smartphone to find safer replacement apps that provide the same functionality as the ones you currently use. SecuRank uses natural language processing and permission usage analysis to identify and recommend alternative apps.

For more information on how SecuRank works, visit our website at https://securank.me/

This app was released on Play Store on 07 Oct and a paper presented on 24 Oct 16 by the developer in the pre conference workshop of the annual CCS conference ( to start today). The paper explains how it works in detail and can be downloaded from here

(Yes, the app itself asks for network permissions but may need more when updated)

Snapshots from my device, highlighting alternative apps for alarm clock app. It offers potentially safer apps which can be directly accessed by clicking and mentions permissions not used in suggested alternates

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Happy weeding ! Only draw back is that it claims to scan General Purpose apps only, but as the list shows it covers root apps, which are not general purpose IMO

Disclaimer: I am in NO way affiliated with this app, but love the idea

Edit: Thanks Izzy for pointing out related ways of filtering for alternatives

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