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How to know Android Applications Permissions

Dec 07, 2011 | 42Gears Team

Android OS runs applications in separate sandboxes which means an application cannot directly access data or other resources belonging to another application. Rarely an application can do everything on its own. They usually need resources belonging to other applications installed on the system.

Android provides additional capabilities to applications by means of “Permissions”. An application has to request for a permission before accessing data/resources shared by another application. For e.g. if an application wants to read contacts stored on the phone, the application developer must add android.permission.READ_CONTACTS permission to the manifest file of the application.

Before you download and install an application from the Android market, you can view all the permissions it is requesting for. One needs to be careful the kind of permissions that the applications ask for. Its a red flag if a puzzle game wants access to your location and also wants to read your contacts.

This problem becomes even more serious for companies. Your employees might be installing applications directly or through the Android market without any regard to what those applications could do. If you are an IT guy, you have the responsibility to make sure the corporate business data in protected from going out to unknown parties. But what can you do?

SureMDM has a cool feature that shows complete list of applications installed on the Android device, along with all the permissions that those apps are asking for.

1. Login into the SureMDM Web Console,
2. Select your smartphone or tablet from the device list.
3. Click on the Apps buttons to see list of installed apps on the device.
4. Select an Application and Click on Permission button. Screen similar to the following will popup.

Angry Birds Permissions

Angry Birds Permissions

Above snapshot shows what permissions are required by Angry Birds when it runs on your Android smartphone or tablet.

As a user we need to be careful about what the third-party applications might be doing on our phones. This becomes even more important for the enterprises in order to protect and safeguard the business information.

42Gears Mobility Systems is a leading vendor of mobile device management and security products. To know more about our game-changing approach to mobile device management visit

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