29 votes
Accepted

In Android 6, how to deny an app permission to access the network?

You won't be able to achieve success through the native mechanism of Android. Cody Toombs at Android Police has very well pointed this out in the article: Android M Will Never Ask Users For ...
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  • 23.5k
27 votes

Is it possible to know if an app has advertisements by analyzing permissions?

You cannot see that just by checking an app's permissions: those permissions ad modules require for their job are the same the app itself might need for another job. You can, however, look up the app ...
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  • 89.1k
26 votes

In Android 6, how to deny an app permission to access the network?

You could use NetGuard (see my list of Internet Firewalls for other alternatives), which works without root and lets you block internet access for apps selectively (WiFi or mobile data, and even ...
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  • 89.1k
25 votes

What does "Drawing over other apps" mean?

The technical name of this permission is SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW: Allows an application to open windows using the type TYPE_SYSTEM_ALERT, shown on top of all other applications. This permission ...
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  • 89.1k
24 votes
Accepted

Apps are not allowed by Google to read SMS messages, but why can they read OTP SMS directly?

Google blocks apps from (mis)using Call Log and/or SMS permissions if they are not the core functionalities of the apps, with some exceptions and alternatives. SMS (termux-sms-list and termux-sms-send)...
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  • 12.4k
22 votes
Accepted

Is there a way to know the actual permissions of an app now before installing?

You don't need an external tool for this. On the versions of the Play Store with the new "simplified" permissions dialog, you can still find a full list of permissions from the app's store page (the ...
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  • 34.4k
19 votes
Accepted

How does an app reads an OTP SMS without SMS permission?

Verification by OTP uses a different API which doesn't need read SMS permission. You can read more here Perform SMS Verification on a Server Hence, the app isn't reading your SMS but using a separate ...
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  • 37.9k
16 votes
Accepted

Help understanding Whatsapp's permissions

I had sent this question as an email to WhatsApp support too, and I've now received a reply from them with complete explanations of the permissions. Pasting that reply below: Thanks for your message....
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  • 742
14 votes

How to search the Play Store by permissions?

More than two years have passed since this question was asked. Still, there's no „official solution” available. Despite its promises, APEFS (introduced in my previous answer over a year ago) has not ...
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  • 89.1k
14 votes
Accepted

Are there any tools to sandbox a malware application even more than the granted permissions on Android?

XPrivacyLua is a module for Xposed framework which does exactly what you need. It is free and open source. Works on rooted devices. It's the successor of XPrivacy. Install Xposed from here: https://...
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  • 281
14 votes

Is there a way to know the actual permissions of an app now before installing?

In his answer, Dan already pointed to my list of apps by real-life topics, which offers some extras as well. Currently, it only covers a small subset of what's available on Google Play, though (for ...
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  • 89.1k
14 votes
Accepted

Difference between Android ID and device ID

While your question targets a development issue (which is off-topic here), the answer is relevant for users as well, so I'm going to answer it: DeviceID: This is the serial of the device, which ...
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  • 89.1k
14 votes

Google Pinyin Input (IME) keeps asking for Google account permission

I had this problem. I'd half installed Pinyin so continual prompting for a login account. Go to Google play store and search for Google Pinyin Input. When that appeared there was an option to ...
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  • 141
14 votes
Accepted

How to bind mount a folder inside /sdcard with correct permissions?

I have been using two different approaches (in fact many with small differences) on my older Android versions to mount whole /sdcard/WhatsApp directory from external SD card. I have tested, it works ...
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  • 17.7k
13 votes
Accepted

Can the RECEIVE_SMS permission be used to intercept SMS messages?

Yes, it can, but only on Android 4.3 and lower. This is used for example in Whatsapp. When you activate the app, Whatsapp sends an SMS to the number you reported, and the app intercepts it quietly and ...
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  • 16.1k
12 votes

What does "Drawing over other apps" mean?

GiantTree is right. If the "floating hearts or animated movements" are supposed to appear on top of other apps, then this permission is needed. If that's not what it does or if that's not what you ...
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  • 50.2k
11 votes
Accepted

How Android's permissions mapping with UIDs/GIDs works?

Android's permission management can be divided majorly in two parts: Linux kernel and Android framework. DISCRETIONARY ACCESS CONTROL: Discretionary Access Control (DAC) based on users, groups and ...
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  • 17.7k
10 votes

Can the RECEIVE_SMS permission be used to intercept SMS messages?

As things stand Android 4.3 and below without Hangouts app : Any app with SMS_RECEIVE permission can read/abort an incoming SMS (ala Whatsapp) Android 4.3 and below with Hangouts (SMS mode turned on)...
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  • 101
9 votes
Accepted

What is the Android Permission "WRITE_GSERVICES" doing?

Note this permission is almost completely undocumented, hence we need to feel our way to its real meaning. So this is in no way an "authoritative answer" – but more or less something between a "good ...
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  • 89.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Why is Play Store still asking for all app permissions on install on Android Marshmallow?

I believe the app has to be made with API 23 (aka Marshmallow's API) and the user has to be on 6.0 Marshmallow or higher for what you want to take effect. However, you can still go into Settings - ...
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  • 106
9 votes
Accepted

What does the usage data access permission allow

Not a developer here Apps granted this permission have access to data pertaining to usage of other apps, like in my case Better Battery Statistics, Macrodroid (automation app) and such apps that ...
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  • 37.9k
9 votes

If an app requires no permission, can I be completely sure that it is safe to install?

In an ideal world, an Android app that has no permissions would mean that the app can not seriously harm your device. Unluckily we are not living in an ideal world, especially on Android where the ...
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  • 15.8k
9 votes
Accepted

List of ADB settable permissions

You can grant or revoke only runtime permissions (introduced in Android 6 with protection level: dangerous) - either from CLI (adb shell) or GUI (Settings). From package manager help: ~$ pm ... ...
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  • 17.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Reset the request permission dialog on Marshmallow

You need to manually allow the permission on that specific app to reset the request permission dialog. Open the App info (either by dragging from app launcher, or Settings - Apps - [app name]) Select ...
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  • 12.4k
8 votes

Why does every app has/needs the permission "Send MMS" and "Send Email"?

Intrigued by this question, I searched in the forums and found a similar query,which probably explains, at least in part, of what you are seeking. Preventing installed apps from making calls or ...
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  • 37.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Can I grant permanent access to external storage to an app in Nougat?

Manually granting permission For rooted devices, there is a way to inject a specific permission inside the /data/system/packages.xml file, which details any and all installed apps, alongside their ...
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  • 2,907
8 votes

So if Draw Over Other Apps is a bad thing, why are so many people wanting to enable the process?

There's a few issues going on here. Permissions and storage use The "Draw over other apps" permission and "Allow background data" permissions have nothing to do with storage. If you're only changing ...
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  • 34.4k
8 votes

What special privileges "/system/xbin/su" does have w.r.t. root access?

Since Android is based on Linux kernel, getting root access by executing /system/xbin/su - like one can do on a Linux system - used to work in good old days but not now. The story is a bit twisted. ...
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  • 17.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Can I get a virus from a browser that doesn't have storage permission?

If an app has storage permissions or not is totally irrelevant if it can be exploited or not (unless you download a malicious file your self). Attacks on web browsers usually use an exploit chain, a ...
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  • 15.8k
7 votes

Are applications from "Unknown Sources" restricted by permissions?

Will Android tell me what permissions they require before installation? In general, yes. In most (if not all) Android devices, there's a system app called "Package installer" which handles the ...
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  • 12.4k

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