Back in May I wrote a post How to manage BlackBerry PlayBook app permissions, but this was only relevant to BlackBerry PlayBook apps. Did you know the PlayBook also supports Android apps which run in a runtime sandbox?
Android apps run on the PlayBook from version 2.0 and recently went through some performance improvements with the release of version 2.1 in October. Version 2.1 sees Android apps run in their own window, so you will no longer be able to see the previously opened Android apps along the bottom bar. You probably noticed these in version 2.0.
Given it’s very easy to manage the native PlayBook app permissions, it’s next to impossible to revisit the apps permissions for Android runtime apps. The reason for allowing Android runtime sandboxed apps on PlayBook is simple – there are more Android developers. It’s the app eco system that drives the tablet – think Google Play Store and App Store for Apple.
Security is the mainstay of this blog, so having noticed that users cannot revisit Android permissions, here are some simple steps to revisit Android permissions.
- Load up App World and click > My World and find an Android app in Installed Apps i.e. BBC News Tablet app and click > DELETE
- Prompt appears “Are you sure you want to delete BBC News Tablet edition by Stackersoft” – click > OK
- The uninstall process will now remove the app
- From App World TAP > Uninstalled and you should see the last uninstalled app i.e. BBC News Tablet click > Reinstall
- The app will commence downloading. You will now see an Android permission prompt highlighting the following default permissions:
- Internet – Allow the app to send and receive data. This could potentially be used to send your personal data to other services
- Files – Allow the app to access your pictures, music, documents and other files. This could potentially be used to share your personal data.
- Device Identifying Information – Allows the app to access information that uniquely identifies
- You also have the option of unchecking the permission requests but be careful as by doing this could stop the app from working properly
- You also have the option to either ‘Accept’ or ‘Deny’ the app
- If you Accept then the app will continue the install process
At the bottom of the prompt it says “You can edit your security settings later. Please visit the Security page in system Settings”. Unfortunately this isn’t actually the case, hence this post. 🙁
You can use the above process for any Android app that you install and want to recheck the permissions. Admittedly, it isn’t a seamless approach (it should really be baked into the PlayBook QNX operating system), but right now it’s the only way BlackBerry PlayBook owners can manage their Android app permissions.
Safe surfing folks!