Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Permissions are a big deal on Android. They allow applications to access potentially personal information. Moreover, permission abuse is something that worries a lot of users. The best defense is to manage your permissions wisely. Some apps help you manage permissions, although the best method is always to use your Android phone’s settings menu. We are going to review some good permission management apps for Android. However, Android 12’s privacy dashboard and other OS improvements will render all of this moot for the next few years.

The best permission management apps for Android

  1. Bouncer
  2. GlassWire
  3. Privacy Dashboard (not by Google)
  4. Shizuku
  5. Antivirus apps
  6. Native Android permission management
Bouncer is one of the best security apps for Android

Bouncer is probably your best bet when it comes to permission management apps. It’s simple to use, efficient, and it does things that Android can’t yet do. Bouncer lets you give permission to an app and then revoke that permission once you’re done using the app. For example, you can enable location on Facebook, then Bouncer will remove that permission for you later. It works without root, doesn’t interfere with how Android natively handles permissions, and it’s just a good simple app in this space.


GlassWire

Price: Free / Up to $9.99

Screenshot GlassWire 2021

GlassWire does not manage permissions like Bouncer does. This shows you which apps are using your data at what times. It helps you identify bad actors that are sending data all the time and draining your battery life. Of course, apps that send or receive data can also be a privacy breach depending on the app. GlassWire can also show you a connection history, allowing you to see much more information. It may interfere with some VPNs, but otherwise it works fine for its intended purpose, especially since apps don’t have to ask for internet permissions.


Privacy Dashboard by Rushikesh Kamewar

Price: Free / Donation optional

Privacy Dashboard by Rushikesh Kamewar screenshot 2022

The Privacy Dashboard is much like Android’s built-in version, but it works slightly differently. It keeps track of the different permissions used by your apps so you can see what they are doing. The app features a light and dark theme, supports most permissions, and doesn’t require any permissions to work. The only thing you have to do is enable it in your accessibility settings to get started. It’s a good alternative to Android’s native privacy dashboard and it also runs in your notifications in case you want to see it in real time.

Screenshot of Shizuku 2022

Shizuku is an interesting application for experienced users. It allows you to send ADB commands to your phone directly from your phone using ADB wirelessly. You can check, give and revoke permissions through ADB if you want and it’s a good way to do that if you go through the process of learning all the commands for it. Additionally, it can help you uninstall or revoke permissions for apps that might otherwise cause problems in the normal way. It’s not the one we would recommend to anyone, but it’s a good final option if nothing else works.


Antivirus apps

Price: Free / Varies

Antivirus apps aren’t exactly that good because Android doesn’t have a ton of malware issues. However, antivirus apps have a secondary use that works well for this sort of thing. Most of them can see which apps have which permissions and will warn you if the apps have too many permissions or could pose a threat to your privacy. Now, to be fair, a lot of them will send false positives because the algorithms are a bit sensitive. However, it’s still a good way to see all your apps and their permissions on one screen. The only downside is that antivirus apps usually have subscriptions and they are usually quite expensive.


Native Android permission management

Price: Free

Android 12 Privacy Dashboard

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Of course, the best way to manage permissions is to use Android’s native controls. You can see every app and every permission right from the settings menu. Additionally, you can add, revoke, or view permissions from these same menus. Android now comes with a native privacy dashboard and it shows you how apps are using your different permissions. Android 13 adds more features to it, and we believe Google will continue to improve privacy, permissions, and the privacy dashboard over time.