I like Android apps a lot, and I enjoy the discovery as much as I enjoy discovering new desktop software.
I do skip the installation of Android apps that I discover fairly often though, probably 50% or even more than that.
The sole reason why I'm canceling the installation dialog after hitting the install button on Google Play is if an application requests permissions that I think it does not require for functionality.
For instance, I stumbled upon Music Radio recently which plays songs that you enter using Internet Radio. I like the concept but when I noticed that it requires SMS permissions, I canceled the installation process immediately.
I cannot come up with a single reason why an Internet Radio application would require access to the SMS system on the device.
There may be an explanation for that but it is not listed on the Google Play page of the app, and since I cannot think of a reason, I canceled the installation.
Obviously, if I would install a messaging applications that supports SMS, that permission would make sense and I would not have issues installing it based on that.
If you look at Android's permission groups, you may find permissions listed there that you consider critical while you may not have issues with others. I do think that most permissions can be critical in one way or the other though, especially if they are requested by an app or game that should not need those for its functionality
Whenever I click the install button on Google Play, I go through all permissions that an app requests to determine whether it makes sense that it requests those.
Here are some examples of apps and games that I did not install because of the permissions they requested:
There may be explanations for some or even all of the requested permissions but since they were not listed on the apps' page on Google Play, I could not verify those.
I have my reasons for doing so. The first is that I want to avoid privacy-invading applications. I don't want my contacts lists, call history or messages to leak to some obscure database on the Internet.
While leaking is bad enough, there is also the chance that applications abuse the permissions for malicious activities.
I'm not saying that this is the case for the applications and games listed above but I prefer to play it safe.
What about you? Do you check permissions before you install apps?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.