Mobility

How to use the much-requested App Permissions in Android Marshmallow

In Marshmallow, App Permissions can be controlled by the end user without the help of a third-party application. Follow the instructions in this Android tutorial.

permissionshero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

One of the most important features to arrive with Android Marshmallow gives you the ability to manage individual permissions for all the apps you've installed on your device. Let's take a look at how the App Permissions feature works in Marshmallow, and then you can then decide if it is something you want to manage. (Note: You can disable crucial functionality within an app, so use this feature carefully.)

SEE: Android Marshmallow: The smart person's guide

What you can manage

Google has taken a slightly different approach to permissions management than you'll find with iOS. You open the App Permissions tool by going to Settings | Apps, tapping the gear icon, tapping App Permissions, and then selecting the feature you want to manage (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

Managing App Permissions on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

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Once inside the App Permissions tools, you can select from:
  • Body Sensors
  • Calendar
  • Camera
  • Contacts
  • Location
  • Microphone

Find the feature you want to manage and tap it, and then you will see a listing of all the apps that have access to it. Say, for example, you want to revoke Microphone access from the Facebook app. To do this, you would:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap the Gear icon.
  4. Tap App Permissions.
  5. Tap Microphone.
  6. Locate the Facebook listing.
  7. Tap to disable access to the Microphone (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen

Disabling mic permissions for the Facebook app.

What about System Apps?

By default, the App Permissions hides the System Apps. There's a good reason why — you do not want to disable permissions on System Apps and inadvertently break something on your device. However, if you know what you're doing (this is important), you can show System Apps, by following these steps.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap the Gear icon.
  4. Tap one of the features such as Microphone.
  5. Tap the menu button (top right corner).
  6. Tap Show System.

The System Apps should be available for you to configure. I don't recommend tampering with System Apps permissions unless you have a sound reason for doing so.

Enjoy App Permissions

Android users have been chomping at the bit for this feature and, thanks to Marshmallow, it is now available. Dive into App Permissions, and see if you can now fine-tune your Android device to perfectly meet your needs.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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