In android 6+ we can control the permissions granted for all the apps installed but there's something I call sub-permissions.For example, when you grant whatsapp the contact permission you're giving the app the ability to read AND write contacts. I'd like to let whatsapp only read the contacts but not create new ones.

In Lollipop I could install App Ops that does exactly what I'm describing here but it's not working with Marshmallow.

Do you guys know any trick I can use in Marshmallow?

  • I found out the solution to this problem. Actually, Marshmallow has an option to do this. Settings>Memory>Apps started on boot> Click on the app you want to change permissions. In my case, I could revoke whatsapp permission to modify contacts. – Pierre.A Nov 27 '16 at 20:03
  • Pierre, could you post your solution as an answer and accept it? In a comment it might get lost. When doing so, including some screenshots might be helpful as well. Thanks! – Izzy Nov 27 '16 at 20:52

Because it we removed from Marshmallow... that granularity doesn't exist anymore. My best guess is it was causing more problems than it was solving by users not knowing what it really did so they simplified permissions in Marshmallow.


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  • Could you please take a look at what Pierre just found out himself? Looks like there is a hidden possibility. Lacking an Android 6 device, I cannot verify. – Izzy Nov 27 '16 at 20:53
  • @Izzy I don't see anything like Pierre mentions in any of the 3 devices I have access to at the moment (MXPE, Moto G3, and Axon 7 Mini). It has been my understanding that the kind of granularity we had with 5.1 and previous Android versions accessed via App Ops has been removed from the base AOSP code in MM and newer Android systems. Even custom ROMs do not have that kind of granularity, if you give an app Contacts permissions, its all or nothing, they can read/write/change contacts, or not access them at all, you can't say "you can read, but not write" contacts to an app like before. – acejavelin Nov 27 '16 at 22:05
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    That was my understanding as well – which is why Pierre's comment surprised me. Still, it wouldn't be the first time that something was hidden in unexpected places. Thanks for checking! – Izzy Nov 27 '16 at 22:43

First I have to apologize cause I made a mistake here.

I'm not using Marshmallow, actually. I put android 6+ because Nougat is a brand new android system and doesn't have many users yet. So that plus sign (6+) means Marshmallow and above and it's supposed to include Nougat as well. After I have discovered the solution I googled it to check if that function is available in Marshmallow too and the site Webandother (http://www.webandother.com/how-to/android-marshmallow-startup-apps/) says yes and I trusted them and came here and posted the solution like it was a hidden option in android 6, but NO. That site is wrong. I shouldn't have trusted them.

Sorry again. Now, if you're using Nougat and wanna know how to revoke sub-permissions like 1-Contacts > 1.1-Read contacts > 1.2-Write contacts, read the following:

Android Nougat has an option to do this but it's hidden and I found it by chance. You can acces it in Settings > Memory > Apps started on boot > Click on the app you want to change permissions. In my case, I could revoke whatsapp permission to modify contacts.

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