One of the most exciting upcoming features of Android M is the ability to pick and choose what permissions you allow apps. However, Android users with a rooted device can already do this with the XPrivacy module.
This module allows you to select individual apps and deny them access to various information on your phone, such as your contacts or location. As well as this it will also let you fool your phone. You can manually input a location, new number and a host of other things so an app believes you’re elsewhere or sends the wrong phone number to apps to keep your real details safe from prying eyes.
This tutorial will show you how to install XPrivacy, block apps form mining your data and change your settings to keep your real details a secret.
- Install XPrivacy
Ensure your phone is rooted and your have the Xposed Framework installed. Either go to http://repo.xposed.info/module/biz.bokhorst.xprivacy or search for XPrivacy Installer in the Google Play Store and download the app. There is a paid-for version that costs £4.27.
- See your apps list
Reboot your device. Head into the Xposed Installer app and tick the box next to XPrivacy. Reboot your phone again and XPrivacy should be active. Open up XPrivacy and you will see your full list of apps.
- Fool your phone
Tap the menu in the top right and hit Settings. This is where you can trick your phone. Change your location, phone number or any of the other settings listed. When apps read this information it will take its information from here.
- Deny specific permissions
Tap on a particular app and a screen will appear with all the permissions you have granted it. By pressing the tick next to it, the app will believe the data in your new settings list, such as your pretend location.
- Restart your handset
Once you have selected the permissions you want to remove from the account, restart your phone. When it turns back on the app should now be reading the fake data. Remember apps sometimes require genuine data to work, such as Google Maps.
- Block all permissions
If you want to blanket deny all permissions for an app, hit the tick box next to the app name and it will tick everything off for you. This is particularly useful for games that shouldn’t need to access anything.