Setting Android Permissions

I wrote some apps using MIT App Inventor 2. Registered as a Developer on the Google Play Store, I submitted the applications for inclusion, only to have them rejected because of excess permissions.

One of the apps, AirRadioMessages, was mainly for student pilots – like me – trying to pass exams for an FRTOL licence, enabling me to use a VHF aircraft radio. But it also included a “Mayday” feature.

This had the ability to send your lat and long as well as street address to anyone in your “In Case of Emergency” list. Could occasionally be very, very useful…

AppInventor only includes the ability to include an SMS component. In AndroidManinfest.xml this resulted in RECEIVE_SMS as well as SEND_SMS being listed, which resulted in the app being rejected by the Play Store review. SEND_SMS was OK because it was clearly an emergency function, but RECEIVE_SMS regarded as excessive. Frustrating, but entirely justified to protect users from malicious apps I guess.

Joseph Sepielli had the answer:

After generating the APK, I downloaded it onto a Linux box where I had aapt:

sudo install aapt

aapt dump permissions AirRadioMessages.apk|grep RECEIVE_SMS

If nothing comes back from the grep, you should be good to upload the release to the Play Store Console and create a release.

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