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Ericles

New App Permission Required?

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The latest version of the app is asking for permission to access "Identity: Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, profile data" 

Since this doesn't seem to line up with any of the new features I'm wondering exactly why the app wants to see my contact card. Does anyone have any insights? 

 

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1 hour ago, Ericles said:

The latest version of the app is asking for permission to access "Identity: Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, profile data" 

Since this doesn't seem to line up with any of the new features I'm wondering exactly why the app wants to see my contact card. Does anyone have any insights? 

 

This morning I tried  unsuccessfully to update my app, and in the process noticed the Identity permission as something already given permission for my current app version. I too was surprised to see this. I'm tech challenged and didn't know what it meant, but I'd like to know so I'm following this thread.

 

Apparently I made that up, since I no longer see Identity mentioned on the old permissions, just for the update.

Edited by Max and 99

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By way of a post-holiday bump... 

Some personal research shows that this permission is often used so the app can read your Google Contact Card - which contains your personal account number. The account number is most useful in linking your web browsing for ad tracking. So this could be the beginning of serving ads on the free app or just an end-around for those who block ads on (or don't use) the website. From a business perspective it makes a lot of sense to monetize the viewing of cache pages in the app. Does the app currently send any ads to non-premium members?

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59 minutes ago, Ericles said:

Does the app currently send any ads to non-premium members?

 

I haven't tested the non-PM features.  In these Forums, I read that the Official App constantly bugs people to pay.  Probably the way I'd do it, too.  Players who love the convenience should pay for it.  If "The Apps" vanished, many cachers wouldn't even miss them.

 

So I dunno about non-PM ads.  But I'm PM, and just now got a full-screen pop-up ad upon start of the App.  Cool. :rolleyes:

 

Untitled-a4.jpg

 

Edited by kunarion

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Where did you see the "Identity" permission?  I looked at the Play Store and saw the following:

2047434984_Screenshot_20181126-102712_GooglePlayStore.thumb.jpg.7f9a50d6ca8417ffda12ded34befb9b1.jpg

 

From my quick search, the first one "Contacts, find accounts on the device" means the following, which seems relatively innocuous:

Account-Related Permissions. "Find accounts on the device" lets the app check with Android's built in Account Manager on whether you have any accounts on services such as Google, Facebook and so on. "Use accounts on the device" lets the app ask for permission to use the account.

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Naturally we wont all see the same thing. That would be too simple! :anitongue: I'm running Android 5.0.1.and the update screen looks like this: 

 

Screenshot_2018-11-26-13-38-11.png

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Hello!

 

You are correct, there are no new features that are in line with requiring the Accounts permission.

We were overhauling what we use to deliver push notifications for the Message Center, and we should have removed the unnecessary Accounts permission before we shipped the code. Documentation for the push service stated we needed to request this permission. Turns out the documentation is not completely in sync with how Android handles push notifications right now.

 

So, why didn’t we see it while working on that feature?

 

Permissions, like the Accounts permission, do not cause problems until we are actively trying to do something with them.

For example, when we ask for File Permissions to put an image in a Cache Log, a dialog comes up and ensures that you, the user, allow the app to interact with your file system. This would be an example of us successfully asking you, the user.

 

On a post Android Marshmallow OS (or Android 5.0), if we had tried to do something with the Accounts permission the following would happen: 

It would crash the app

A Security Exception would be thrown 

Our logs will holler at us for using permissions that were not verified and confirmed with the user. 

 

Since there are no features in the app that use the Accounts permission, there were no crashes being triggered to say, “You need to ask the user permission first.” Nothing broke, and there was no double check on using that permission, so nothing was fixed (or removed in this case).

 

Unfortunately, 7.1.0 is out in the world and does not have this permission removed yet. When we release 7.2.0, this will be removed and you will see that is has gone away from your manifests and permission settings for the app.

 

So, the short story is: you are all correct that no new features use it, nothing in the app uses it at all, and it is “harmless” for now outside of being an unwelcome addition to your Manifest.

 

To address why some people are seeing this right away in their updates and some are not seeing this at all:

Phones that are pre-Marshmallow (so Android OS that is less than 5.0) still follow the old style of showing the Manifest of Permissions on every install and update. So someone on a newer OS will never see this.

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That explains it pretty well. I don't envy the task of the App developer with the way permissions are documented (or not) and change between versions. 

Thanks for the reply! 

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