How To Enable Hidden Android 4.3 Feature ‘App Ops’ For Individual App Permission Control

As tech fans, we’re often sucked in by the glamorous new features of a firmware update. The release of Android 4.3, while perhaps not a lot to write home about in all, offers quite a few intriguing implementations, but while a control center for individual app permissions doesn’t sound particularly exciting, it’s certainly something many Droidsters have been waiting on for a long time. And now, a new hidden App Ops feature within Android 4.3 has been discovered, that allows the user to set individual app permissions, and in the tech world’s constant demands for more control over its mobile devices, this is most certainly a tick in the box. And enabling it is a piece of cake, here’s how you can do it.

As owners of these sophisticated marvels, most of us take more than a fleeting interest in the security and privacy features to ensure our personal data stays that way. Recognizing this, Google’s new App Ops feature lets you check and tweak any and every permission ever set – for any app. Often, and I’m guilty of this at times, we can be a little careless in checking the list of permissions an app wants to access prior to installation. Yet if you happened to install something hastily and wish to check later on that said app is without scruple, the App Ops feature will ensure that you can toggle access with ease.

Nexus 4 back

Enabling this hidden feature is as easy as installing an app, which can be found over at the Play Store, and has been aptly named ‘Permission Manager’. Simply download and install (link at the end of this post), and you’re good to go right off the bat.

Permission Manager 1

At the time of writing, our very own Nexus devices here at Redmond Pie hasn’t received the Android 4.3 OTA yet, but this is a feature we cannot wait to check out. Users will have to be careful when whimsically toggling permissions off and on at will, for some apps will simply not work without access to particular features.

Permission Manager 2

Still, Android 4.3 offers more control to you, the consumer, which can never be a bad thing. There have been many examples in the past of devs asking for permissions completely irrelevant to the integrity of the app, and this, in turn, can put the user’s privacy at risk. Although the App Ops feature, from what we can gather, is not something that should be altered without due care and attention, it is good to see Google taking positive steps to stem the tide of negative security stories pertaining its flagship mobile OS.

If you’re on Android 4.3, be sure to give this app a shot, and let us know in the comments section below what you think of the new hidden feature.

(Download: Permission Manager for Android on the Play Store)

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