The topic of permissions appears to be a rabbit hole. I am an Android beginner, and I am trying to enter it and not die trying.

Apparently, the list of an App's permissions in the Play Store description is not a one-to-one mapping with the actual permissions an app is using. It's just a high level description in layman's terms. So is the description of a permission shown to the user when asking to grant a revocable permission. The actual permissions are in the manifest file.

So we have:

  1. A list of layman's-terms permissions.
  2. A list of OS permissions.

Notably, both are organized in groups. At least grouping #2 appears to be a "partition" (i.e., each permission belongs to exactly one group), is grouping #1 also such?

Question: Is that mapping documented anywhere?

Note: The layman's terms description may help at one point, but it may make things a little obscure at the same time...


  1. https://developer.android.com/reference/android/Manifest.permission_group
  2. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17371326/what-is-the-use-of-permission-group-in-android?answertab=votes#tab-top
  3. Permissions categories... Do they have any practical implication?
  4. List of all actions protected by given permission
  5. Better description of permissions
  6. Permissions for Photos/Media/Files vs. Storage
  7. Restricting app permissions
  8. Application Permissions
  • 2
    The permission grouping has been introduced years ago. Not sure if there is still some site online describing it. Also keep in mind that some permissions are not shown at al like INTERNET permission. Considering how may questions you already have asked about the install time permissions I don't want to know how many you will ask when you discover that there are additionally a whole bunch of run-time only permissions...
    – Robert
    Nov 14 '21 at 13:21
  • 1
    I'm not sure if I understand correctly what you mean by "permission groups". Being the developer of PMX, I've been using getAllPermissionGroups and related APIs for years. I don't think PermissionGroupInfo is something to get very serious about; it's just a small list of not very meaningful / helpful names defined in AOSP or third party apps' manifest files. Nov 14 '21 at 13:55
  • 1
    On a normal device more than 90% permissions belong to group UNDEFINED. Just run adb shell pm list permission-groups and pm list permissions -g to see. If you wan to learn about Android permissions, in my opinion you can safely ignore permission groups. Go for individual permissions. Nov 14 '21 at 13:56
  • @Robert - So far that number is 6... Let's see what I can learn, with all exceptions and undocumented feturas about permissions. Nov 14 '21 at 17:59
  • @IrfanLatif - This or This - TL;DR is what I mean by list of groups #1 (that only shows the groups relevant to each app, not the complete list). For list #2, I already gave the link to Izzy's site. Does this clarify your "I'm not sure if I understand correctly..."? Nov 14 '21 at 18:06

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