Android Central Fail: Slice Slice

By | 2010-10-27

Best Android Apps Review aren’t doing their job as reviewers properly. I’ve complained before about not calling Android developers out for requiring invasive permissions without due cause for their apps.

When I spot them I’m going to start naming and shaming both the app and the review that didn’t note it.

Top Android Game: Slice Slice

Slice Slice is a challenging Android game where you must slice different shapes into a specific number of equal area units.

Great. Let’s see what permissions it needs to be able to do this.

  • Your location: course (network-based) location, fine (GPS) location
  • Network communication: full Internet access
  • Storage: modify/delete SD card contents
  • Phone calls: read phone state and identity
  • System tools: prevent phone from sleeping, retrieve running applications
  • Network communication: view network state
  • Hardware controls: control vibrator
  • System tools: kill background processes

I’ve highlighted in bold the permissions that a game like this does not need. Combined with full network access, the ability to read a unique identifier, and know your location (“fine” location? For a game? What possible justification is there for a game to know where I am on the planet to the nearest 5m, let alone the nearest cell tower?) is scary.

Horribly suspicious is the permission to retrieve a list of running applications and to kill them.

I’m not entirely happy about the SD card access. That might be Android’s fault though. Each app should be able to access its own secure storage area, isolated from all other apps. That storage area might be on the SD card. That doesn’t mean I want random apps to be able to crawl around through every file on the card. What is to stop it searching for any document file it finds and uploading it with its full network access?

Don’t install applications that do this. You are inviting people to steal your identity.

Leave a Reply