When you download Android apps from the Google Play Store you see a list of permissions required by each app. Don’t want to install an app once you realize it would have access to your contact list? Then you can decide not to install the app after all.

But despite some developer tools uncovered last year which suggested otherwise, Google never really meant to let users disable specific permissions on a per-app basis.

But the developers of Firefox OS are taking a different approach. You can already revoke certain app permissions. Starting with Firefox OS 2.1, you’ll be able to enable or deny permissions that aren’t currently accessible.

firefox os permissions

Apps that run on Firefox OS are basically web apps… and they ask for permissions the way web apps normally do. The first time you run a maps application, for instance, you might get an alert asking if you want to allow the app to access your location with a check-box asking whether to remember your choice.

You’ll typically get prompts when apps need to access the Firefox APIs for things like the camera, location, or audio recording. But other APIs such as “alarms” are set so that apps can automatically access them without asking you.

Developer Frederik Braun says starting with Firefox 2.1 you’ll be able to activate developer settings on a Firefox phone and check a box for “Verbose App permissions” in order to have access to all of the permissions used by apps.

That way you’ll be able to enable or disable individual permissions for any app you download from Mozilla’s Firefox Marketplace, even after you’ve installed and run that app. You can also change the setting to “prompt” so that the app will ask you whether to allow or deny a permission every time it runs.

via CNET

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12 replies on “Firefox OS 2.1 will feature selective app permission”

  1. This is something Windows store and Google play store need to seriously consider it could be a game changer. To many apps are just sneaking around behind our backs and spying on us, some tell this ahead of time many don’t. This is why I don’t use Windows store apps or my Android tablet any more, Ads and Spyware.

  2. I don’t get this
    “you’ll be able to enable or deny permissions that aren’t currently accessible”.
    What does it mean?

    1. It means (if I understand Braun’s blog post properly, since I have limited experience with FF OS myself) that right now you can already change *some* app permissions after they’ve initially been set.

      By enabling developer mode in the future you’ll be able to toggle *all* app permissions, even those that aren’t currently made visible to users.

        1. No problem… normally if someone tells me in a comment that they don’t understand something I wrote in the article… it means I should fix the article because I wasn’t clear enough. In this case I’m leaving it a bit vague because of my limited experience with Firefox OS.

          Really folks who want more details should check out Braun’s article.

  3. Nice. Google is all about controlling & watching us. Firefox might actually be going the other way! The pull is getting stronger with FFOS. I wonder, Is FFOS trying to prevent me from using removable storage in my device?

  4. If only FFOS had some more high-mid tier to high tier options. Nice feature though.

  5. Wow, this is enough for me to try out Firefox OS over Android for my next phone.

    1. Do you know that you can do the same on any rooted Android phone? My Jiayu has this functionality even built-in out of the box.

        1. My phone came rooted out of the box. I would never buy a phone without root access.

    2. I agree. Mozilla is making Firefox OS very customer friendly. I hope they keep making strides and keep getting apps. More progress is needed before it can be a threat to Android or iOS, but they are definitely headed in the right direction.

Comments are closed.