1. alamarco's Avatar
    A couple of questions relating to permissions and application testing.

    1) With regards to permissions, is there anywhere that explains them and what exactly they mean? For example, I'm trying to determine if an application is secure and I see the "Network communication" permission with "Full network access". If you click the permission it does go further into detail, but still left wondering.

    2) With regards to saving photos to the internal SD or external SD, do applications require a special permission? If the only permission on the application is as above, "Network communication" with "Full network access", would that mean no saving to the phone?

    3) Is there an alternative to Bluestacks to test applications from the Google Play Store? There are a couple of applications that because of the niche market have low downloads and no reviews. It's thus hard to judge not only the quality, but also the legitimacy of the application. In these cases, I would prefer to be able to load up the application in a test environment.

    The reason I ask for an alternative to Bluestacks is because I tried Bluestacks and it just didn't work. It took a while to install and when I ran it, searching for applications found the application, but clicking further would just stall when searching through the actual store instead of the initial search so I couldn't actually get the application to download. Mind you I have a quad core CPU with 16 GB of RAM, so I'm not sure why Bluestacks ran so terribly.
    02-20-2013 09:15 PM
  2. james27007's Avatar
    Not sure on testing the app, but here is a killer list that explains what most of the permissions mean:
    App Permissions Explained - What Do They Really Mean? - AndroidPIT

    For me, I stay far away from any app that wants "Read sensitive log data" there are very few apps that need this and they are very highly downloaded apps from well known companies like twitter. There is just way too much information in that log that I am not willing to share.

    As for the SD question, if I remember correctly, if the app does not have the "Storage" permission, it cannot access your internal or external memory cards.
    alamarco likes this.
    02-20-2013 10:35 PM
  3. gnr_2's Avatar
    This (permissions) is one of those places where I wonder if Android is giving too much information to the masses. So many apps have reviews where the user is criticizing the permissions when its basic stuff like having to know when you have a message so that the notification can work properly or be able to dial your phone cause the phone number is included for support. You download an app from the Apple store and that's it, it just works and you don't know what it is using. Why did Android go this very confusing full disclosure route?

    Sent from my totally awesome Sprint Galaxy Nexus, even if I don't know all its secrets yet.
    02-20-2013 10:45 PM
  4. alamarco's Avatar
    Not sure on testing the app, but here is a killer list that explains what most of the permissions mean:
    App Permissions Explained - What Do They Really Mean? - AndroidPIT

    For me, I stay far away from any app that wants "Read sensitive log data" there are very few apps that need this and they are very highly downloaded apps from well known companies like twitter. There is just way too much information in that log that I am not willing to share.

    As for the SD question, if I remember correctly, if the app does not have the "Storage" permission, it cannot access your internal or external memory cards.
    Thanks! That's exactly what I needed. Really helps when you understand the permissions in greater detail. No point in installing the application I'm looking at if it doesn't have access to storage.

    This (permissions) is one of those places where I wonder if Android is giving too much information to the masses. So many apps have reviews where the user is criticizing the permissions when its basic stuff like having to know when you have a message so that the notification can work properly or be able to dial your phone cause the phone number is included for support. You download an app from the Apple store and that's it, it just works and you don't know what it is using. Why did Android go this very confusing full disclosure route?
    You don't have to read the permissions. You can easily ignore them and use the Play Store like the App Store. Users choice and I personally prefer the Play Store's method as you get to see what exactly the application is using which allows the user to see what the application does. Why share more information then required? It's not only a privacy issue, but also allows you to see what applications can potentially be malicious.

    In my case, as james27007 alluded too, the application won't have access to my storage so for me there's no point in taking the risk of installing an application with hardly any downloads and no reviews. Unlike the App Store, the Play Store is more prone to malicious applications, even if the chance is low. The more information provided, the better it is.
    gnr_2 likes this.
    02-20-2013 11:01 PM
  5. gnr_2's Avatar
    . You don't have to read the permissions. You can easily ignore them and use the Play Store like the App Store. Users choice and I personally prefer the Play Store's method as you get to see what exactly the application is using which allows the user to see what the application does. Why share more information then required? It's not only a privacy issue, but also allows you to see what applications can potentially be malicious.

    In my case, as james27007 alluded too, the application won't have access to my storage so for me there's no point in taking the risk of installing an application with hardly any downloads and no reviews. Unlike the App Store, the Play Store is more prone to malicious applications, even if the chance is low. The more information provided, the better it is.
    It just seems that no one (many people it seems) knows what they are for and it makes them fearful of everything for no reason. There has to be a useful in between.

    Sent from my totally awesome Sprint Galaxy Nexus, even if I don't know all its secrets yet.
    02-21-2013 01:29 AM
  6. gnr_2's Avatar
    Maybe make them available for those that want to see them, but you don't actually have to read it - kind of like the click here to accept the terms and conditions where you can look if you want, but most just check the box. Then it isn't a two step process to download something. And if you get something you shouldn't, it's your fault for not reading the permissions. Just like on your pc.

    Sent from my totally awesome Sprint Galaxy Nexus, even if I don't know all its secrets yet.
    02-21-2013 12:20 PM
  7. alamarco's Avatar
    It currently is setup that way. With terms and conditions it's an extra step you have to agree too. You can't continue until you click agree. The term aren't hidden, they are on screen to see. Same thing with permissions, they are on screen. Click ahead without reading like you do terms and conditions. Most people do that anyway.
    02-21-2013 04:51 PM
  8. gnr_2's Avatar
    Yeah I know, but it's an extra step instead of the download just starting when I hit install like in the App store. I'd rather have a box to check before I hit install so I can just go about my day.

    Sent from my totally awesome Sprint Galaxy Nexus, even if I don't know all its secrets yet.
    02-21-2013 11:55 PM

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