When you install a new app from the Market, one part of the process is granting it permission to access certain portions of your device. While apps from trustworthy developers will rarely cause you problem, there are more than a few shady apps in the Market. Give an app permission to access sensitive aspects of your device, and you could put your personal information at risk. That’s why it’s always recommended that you check the permissions you grant every app that you download. But hey, we’re all human, and when we see an app we want it now. I’d be telling a terrible lie if I said that I haven’t downloaded apps without checking the permissions. That’s why I’ve gone and downloaded PermissionDog — and checked the permissions I granted it.
The app basically works in two manners. First, it pops up any time you launch an app and lets you know what permissions you’re granting it. Of course, that can get incredibly annoying after a while, so you do have the option to turn it off for certain apps. You can also turn it off altogether, which is the method I prefer. Instead, I recommend just launching the app. It will bring up a list of your apps and let you know the danger level of the permissions you are granting your app portfolio.
Some apps necessarily require more permissions than others, and so will come up orange or yellow. Just be on the lookout for games and simple, local apps (that is, don’t require much, if any, data usage) that get yellow or orange tags. Or, worse, red ones. The app uses an algorithm based on each permission, so the ones that can potentially exploit your device will trigger more yellows and oranges.
You can also see which apps have which permissions. Again, PermissionDog will take care of the ranking for you, but if your curious to see what your apps can access on your device, you have the option to dig into that.
If you want to see what apps have access to various parts of your device, you can download PermissionDog for free from the Market. If you have questions or feedback, the developer is pretty active on the xda forums thread. The more feedback provided, the quicker this app gets better.