Writing for the Guardian, Charles Auther explores the implication of google removing the App Options that were introduced in Android 4.3 (released mid-November), but was subsequently removed in Android 4.4.2, released about three weeks later.
The bizarre thing is that Android, which has always led Apple’s iOS in terms of customisation – choose your own keyboard, choose your own default apps – has now lagged in this key area by more than a year, in a field where people have become more and more aware that data matters, and permission matters – and the ability to revoke permission matters even more.
Android used to be ahead of Apple’s iOS by virtue of the fact that it did at least tell you what elements of your phone an app might access. That was in stark contrast to iOS, where before 2012 you didn’t actually know what an app was up to after you downloaded it. That led to the furore in February 2012 when it was revealed that the social startup Path was grabbing iPhone address books and uploading them to its servers.
Essentially, without App Ops I will just have to drop Android as a platform – the security risk is just too great, and iOS is able to manage permission revocation properly.