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I use a backup app to backup SMS text messages to my GMail account registered on my HTC Desire Z Android 2.3 phone.

The app requests access to the gmail account. But what does this actually mean? Does it mean:

  • the application has write-only access to the gmail - i.e. it can insert emails but not delete or adjust other existing emails (does the Android API provide for that?)

  • the application has full access to the email, and could potentially delete emails if there was a bug

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There is no "write-only" permission for access to Gmail - it's either "read-only" or "full access", meaning that the app in question will be able to both create and delete messages from your account. However, I would guess that adding and deleting mails are two very different things from a programming standpoint, so you should be ok :-)!

  • +1 Thanks @Dirk, I would have preferred finer granularity of access by an app, i.e. "add new emails only", this would be more precise and defensive and therefore one's trust of the app does not have to be stretched beyond what the app should be doing. – therobyouknow Jul 18 '12 at 8:17
  • P.S. @Dirk could you point me at specific API documentation to support your answer then I will mark your answer as accepted. – therobyouknow Jul 18 '12 at 8:18

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