Android 6.0 Marshmallow: A Closer Look At App Permissions

Google’s latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow is exciting in many respects, offering a slew of great features and functionality. The new app permissions are among the highlights, so they deserve a closer look.

With the new OS version, Google completely overhauled the way apps and users can handle permissions. With previous versions of Android, if an app asked for various permissions and the user didn’t want to grant them, the only option was to ditch the app altogether.

With Android 6.0 Marshmallow, however, users can now install an app and either allow or deny permissions at a deeper level, on a per-app basis. More specifically, if you don’t want an app to have access to your contact list, for instance, you can deny it access to your contact list while still allowing it to have other permissions.

Apps on the new OS ask for permissions along the way, instead of requesting permission to everything (camera, microphone, contact list etc.) upfront. If you try to make a video call in a messaging app, for example, the app will ask you for camera permissions only then, because it’s neccessary for that action. When you want to save a file, the app may ask you for storage permissions. If you want to make a Hangouts voice call, the app will ask you for microphone permissions. This means that apps will only ask for permissions they actually need, when they need it.

In addition to handling permissions as you go, for something directly related to the app you’re using and what you want to do in the app, Android 6.0 Marshmallow also makes it easy to review app permissions later on, in case you change your mind.

If you granted permissions to an app and want to revoke them at some point, you can easily do so with little to no hassle. Simply access your phone’s Settings > Applications and select the app from the list. From there, select App Permissions and modify the permission in question.

 At the same time, Android 6.0 Marshmallow also allows users to keep tabs on app permissions across the board. To do so, simply tap the menu button located in the top corner and access Configure Apps > App Permissions. From here, you can revoke various permissions for all apps. If you don’t want any app to have permission to use your camera, for instance, you can choose to turn off Camera permissions for all apps.

It’s all still pretty new and this app permissions model is expected to become better in time, as developers work on the system and perfect their apps.

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