Android app updates happen frequently. So much that you probably don’t give a second look if the developer has added the support for the newest Android N feature which could be useful to you. This is even truer for someone who has auto-app update turned ON.
And this is not limited to features only. App updates may also bring along some change in permissions or add some new ones. To effectively monitor both of these, today we have shortlisted two apps which congregate all the new features and permissions of all the apps on your smartphone in one place, so you can analyze them easily. We will first take a look at Changelogs, the app for viewing app changes.
Cool Tip: We also have plenty other cool app suggestions for you, which can be found here.
Currently, the only way to see the changelog, that is what has changed for better or worse in the newest app update, is to visit the apps page on Play Store. All of us have several apps installed and doing that is tedious. Changelogs is the app for just that purpose. Let’s see how to use it and its features:
Step 2: When you open the app it will ask you to login into your Google account. It’s necessary or else it will not show the changelog.
Step 3: Once logged in, it should load all the apps present on your phone, in alphabetical order. The following images will explain the rest.
The apps which have an update available are shown with the green icon, like the one besides Adobe Acrobat Reader, in the image above.
Tapping any app name will open a new screen with various options for the app as shown in the image above. You get several options like uninstalling the app, updating it, its Play Store link etc. in one place.
This is the second app which enables you to view the app permissions for all the apps on your phone. App Permissions indicate what the apps installed on your phone have access to. It’s good practice to audit the permissions for the apps because we often ignore them while installing. While you can view the same in Settings > Apps, as shown below. Of course, the actual menu will differ a little depending on your phone brand and/or Android version.
But it is not the best way as you have to go back and forth for each app and scroll way down. Permissions Explorer, not only compiles them in one place, it also categorizes them as shown in the image below.
If you are interested to know minute details regarding each permission, there’s a full list here, along with the meaning of each permission. Now the next question is, what to do if you find some app possess inappropriate permission? Well, it’s harder if your phone is running Android 5.0 or later. Google had a native (hidden) permissions manager, App Ops, on Android 4.3 & 4.4, but it was removed in later versions. The currently available options are to root your phone and/or have a custom ROM installed. While there are plenty of apps on play store which “enable” the hidden permissions manager but they are useless as root is required for that to work unless you are still rocking Android 4.3 or 4.4.x. Other apps which claim to know the secret sauce can be a hit-or-miss affair (mostly miss), working on your friend’s phone but not yours.
While installing or updating apps we don’t give a second thought to what has changed in it. Did these apps prove helpful to you or know any other such apps which give info about apps on your phone? Do share your thoughts through comments.