Earlier this year in July it was discovered that Android 4.3 had a hidden feature called App Ops. Through the feature users could tap in to permissions granted to apps that run on the device, something which they can’t do by default. While many users would argue about giving users the ability to control individual app permissions, Google is yet to officially launch such a feature. In its recent Android update, version 4.4.2 KitKat which was released shortly after Android 4.4.1 graced devices, Google has now removed the App Ops feature.
Google says that App Ops is an “experimental” feature that wasn’t meant to be public, the company claims that it could break app functionality, which is why users must not be given access to it. Google hasn’t said if it has any plans in the future of launching this feature, so it wouldn’t be right to assume that somewhere along the line App Ops could come back. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is of the view that Google should re-enable the feature, and that it should add a switch to restrain apps from collecting identifying information such as IMEI, user account information and phone number, it should better integrate App Ops in Android and that it should allow users to disable network access on a per app basis.
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