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Re: Making default permissions on Android more restrictive

From: Stefan Kangas
Subject: Re: Making default permissions on Android more restrictive
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2023 06:31:33 -0700

Po Lu <luangruo@yahoo.com> writes:

> I think that is too high a bar, given that Emacs must be recompiled
> before it is capable of requesting permissions outside the set of
> permissions enumerated within its manifest.  Which is to say, unless we
> declare these permissions from the outset, such packages will _never_
> have a fighting chance of supporting Android.
> Most of our users will run Android 6.0 or later, where most of the
> permissions Emacs requests by default are in fact disabled until
> explicit action is taken to enable them.  Removing these permission
> declarations is tantamount to impeding the development of user Lisp code
> just to assauge minor security concerns on decade-old installations of
> Android.  These versions collectively amount to less than 2.17% of all
> Android installations.

BTW, I think the documentation should be rewritten to focus on recent
Android first, and only then mention what happens for legacy versions.

Assuming I'm understand this right, perhaps something like:

   • On reasonably recent versions of Android (6.0 and later), Emacs
     only receives the following permissions upon installation:

        − ‘android.permission.VIBRATE’
        − ‘android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE’
        − ‘android.permission.INTERNET’
        − ‘android.permission.SET_WALLPAPER’
        − ‘android.permission.NFC’
        − ‘android.permission.TRANSMIT_IR’
        − ‘android.permission.WAKE_LOCK’

     Other permissions must be granted by the user through the system
     settings application.  This is the list of capabilities:

     [long list of capabilities elided]

   • On Android 5.1 and earlier, Emacs automatically gets the
     above list of permissions when it is installed.

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