Apps accessing the system

pacanis

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I've got a question about installing apps that I was unable to find if it was asked before;
When an app wants access to other areas within the phone's system, like tools, location, personal info... that's a warning not to install the app, right? It seems like a lot of them, even ones mentioned here as being excellent, want access to other areas of the phone and have warning symbols by those areas. I'm assuming there could be some malicious apps out there... How do you know if they are safe to install?
 

anon(697)

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They're not warning you not to install it - it's just giving you information to allow you to think whether you trust it before you install it.

Some apps require access to certain areas for good reasons, but if you're installing something like a game and it shows it needs access to your contacts you have to think why they might want that and whether you still trust the app enough to go ahead.

Dave
 

pacanis

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Thanks for the reply, Dave.
So it IS leaving it up to me as to whether I trust the app or not... I guess if I see others rate it good, I'll go ahead and trust it, but the whole thing seems kind of sketchy to me.
 

Adiliyo

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you should look and see if it makes sense for the app to need access to what is listed in the disclaimer page. if it doesn't make sense, then it should send up a warning flag.

but if something like a barcode shopping comparison app needs access to the camera, location, and network that doesn't seem odd or malicious.

but the burden is on you to do your homework. see if it makes sense, look at reviews and make smart choices.

you can always come into a forum and ask if you see a particularly shady application. :)

it makes sense for them to do it this way since there is no approval process to get an app into the marketplace, so they need some way to help you make an informed decision.
 

pacanis

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Yeah, this is what I thought, but there are apps that a lot of people said are must have that wants access to my contacts. I could see no reason they would need that. And another that said my personal information, and again, beats me why it would access to need that. And these are rated highly, but but whom... lol
A little confusing at times when you don't write this stuff for a living.
 

Donkey Hodie

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I don't get this either. I was going to download barcode scanner but it said it would read and write contacts. Does this mean everybody in my contacts list is going to start getting spam?

I wish developers would be a little more clear about what their app uses on the phone and why.
 

anon(697)

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In that case I think it's because you can scan a barcode for a contact - I've seen at least one business card with a barcode on it - so the program needs to be able to write to your contacts
 

Donkey Hodie

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In that case I think it's because you can scan a barcode for a contact - I've seen at least one business card with a barcode on it - so the program needs to be able to write to your contacts

Well, I suppose that makes sense. I still wish the developers would make it a little more clear why they accessed various system functions, especially those that aren't obvious such as this one. It'd also be great if they would address privacy concerns directly in the Android Market when you go to download their application e.g., "Barcode Scanner needs to read and write your contact information because some business cards carry bar codes. This information is not uploaded by us nor is it retained on our web site, sold or used in any other way".
 

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