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Pixel App Permissions

How to Enable and Disable App Permissions on the Pixel and Pixel XL

You can manually enable, disable and simply check on which permissions each of your apps and games have on your Pixel and Pixel XL.

The Android community had been begging Google to revamp the way permissions were handled with Android for years. Some people within the community found what was labeled as App Ops within the Android system, which seemed to be what most people were wanting – a granular way to grant or deny the permissions that an application had access to. Since before Android 6.0 Marshmallow, you had to allow all requested permissions when installing an application.

Google never released App Ops to the public, but it was the groundwork for what they did release. In Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google changed the way application permissions were handled. Instead of being forced to accept all permissions right when the application was installed, you could use the application (or parts of it) while denying access to permission and allowing access to others.

This is usually handled with a pop-up message when the app requests access, but you can follow these steps to manually grant or deny access to certain permissions with the Pixel and Pixel XL.

Pixel App Permissions

  1. Launch the Settings application
  2. Scroll down and tap on the ‘Apps’ option
  3. Then tap on the application or game you want to check on
  4. Tap on the ‘Permissions’ option
  5. And from here you can toggle access to a specific permission both on and off

Explanation

You would think that something like this wouldn’t be necessary, but with ‘big data’ becoming so valuable, Google finally stepped in and did something about it. Many felt it was unfair for a flashlight application to be allowed access to your location data. This data was then sold to 3rd-party companies so the developer could make some money. There are also some privacy concerns with some apps too, and this is the big reason why I’m thankful Google finally fixed this with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

To manually enable and disable certain app permissions, we first need to launch the Setting application. From here, you’ll want to scroll down and then tap on the Apps option. This will give us a list of all the applications and games we have installed on our Pixel phone. So from here, you’ll want to locate and tap on the application you want to check on. Then, you’ll be given a number of options to choose from, but for now we want to tap on the Permissions option.

Pixel App Permissions Toggles
This is an example list of permissions for the stock camera application of the Pixel and the Pixel XL.

This is where we get a list of all the permissions that a developer has coded in for an application or game. Some of these might be turned on, while others could be turned off. Permissions that have been turned on are ones you manually granted. I appreciate this central location for application permissions because I can quickly go here if I accidentally grant an application or game access to a certain permission.

This is also the place to go if you change your mind about a certain permission. You’ll get a warning if a permission is vital to an application’s function, but you still have the change to deny access anyway. I should warn you though, some applications are very hostile when it comes to denied permissions. For example, some flashlight applications will simply force close if it is unable to access your location data.

So, if you end up changing the app permissions and then find out that it’s doing nothing but force closing when you try to launch it, know that it’s likely due to you denying access to one of those permissions.


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