Security-conscious and meticulous Android users might have been a bit anxious when the newly released Android 4.4 KitKat seemingly broke access to the Apps Ops manager. Worry no longer as a new app has surfaced on Google Play Store that gives users the power to micromanage app permissions once more.
Debuting in Android 4.3, App Ops is a feature that revolves around Android’s permissions system. During app development, developers have to specify certain permissions in order to use related functionality, such as using the user’s location, writing to storage, or sending messages. Users are then presented with these details before installation in order to inform them of what the app is capable of, though most users probably just breeze through that part of app installation. What App Ops does is manage those permissions on a per app or global level. This functionality, however, wasn’t available for end-users to take advantage of.
A third-party app appeared last July that delivered on that. It allowed users to switch of individual permissions used by apps while leaving other unaffected. This means that one could effectively block an app from using your location but still allow the app to use other features. That app has apparently stopped working when Android 4.4 came out probably due to App Ops being hidden deeper down the platform. A new app, also named App Ops, is now available that brings back access to the feature and even manages to add some conveniences of its own.
The free version of the app will pretty much give what majority of users want. But those who desire a bit more fine tuning can opt for a Pro version. This paid version provides notifications that show revoked permissions, if any, for the app currently running in the foreground. It can also grant or revoke permissions for a certain feature on all apps that request it. It can even automatically revoke certain permissions for newly installed apps. All of this power comes at the cost of requiring the device to be rooted.
App Ops was designed with Android 4.4 in mind but also works for Android 4.3. The basic version is offered for free and the Pro version is available as an in-app purchase.