Show permissions before install

From F-Droid
Jump to: navigation, search

this is out of date, follow progress on gitlab:


Note

This has been implemented, and the app details screen is capable of showing app permissions before downloading and installing. There is a preference in the main settings screen which enables this behaviour, because some people find it a duplication of information, seeing as they will see the permissions after they've downloaded anyway.

Problem

Users may download a 10mb .apk, only to find that they don't approve of the permissions it requires, and opt not to install it.

Current situation

As of commit 26e7875 (May 3rd, 2013)

App details screen

As above, with permissions set to display in preferences

Possible Solutions

Show permissions in app details screen

Give the user the option to show the permissions before installing.

The information is available to us through the index, and is already stored in the database during an index update.

This has been implemented as per issue #72 (Merge Request 32). Thanks to bede, a preference item was added to allow people to choose to display permissions in the app info screen before downloading. The question was, should this be enabled by default or not?

Pros:

  • Quite possible many people want this feature
  • You no longer have to download that 8mb app on a mobile connection just to see the permissions
  • People may not realise that it exists without it defaulting to true

Cons:

  • Changing default behaviour, and the permissions are displayed before install anyhow.
  • Adds extra info to the app info screen (pushes download links out of view on many devices)
  • Perhaps a changelog can be added after updating f-droid to alert people the new option exists
  • Having to add version info confuses things. This mockup shows a possible solution.

Long press versions in list to view permissions

This was mentioned on IRC by mvdan. It is probably not an alternative to the previous solution, and they could both co-exist without being redundant. It seems that a preference probably wouldn't need to be added to enable this feature, because it is not taking up more realestate, or modifying the current way people use the app. Rather, it would just add a new method for accessing information.

The information could be displayed in a dialog window that overlays the screen, or perhaps some other way. It could also include other information about the apk that is available in the index, but not displayed in the list of versions.

Show permissions on separate screen

The app details screen is fairly cluttered. Mostly, you want to focus on the description and install the Recommended Version. Therefore, there should be a new screen for All Versions. Tap a version here gives a new screen/dropdown with apk info, including permissions, signature fingerprints, repo origin, ABI, supported languages, original description, changelogs etc. (not all this info is found in basic index). This version can be installed via the ActionBar if the version has its own screen or via a button if a dropdown (not sure of right terminology) is used. Comparison of versions could be done by long press to select two versions and have them displayed in a split screen view or as single screen diff. Having a separate screen for permissions makes it clear that the description only applies to the Recommended Version.

Mockup

Here is something to continue the discussion. I don't know how close it is to what you are discussing above, but you can modify it if you want.

Original (both with and without permissions preference turned on)

Current app details screen Current app details screen with "Show Permissions" turned on

Separate screen

app-details-without-versions.png app-details-with-permissions-without-versions.png app-version-details.png

Links

https://f-droid.org/repository/issues/?do=view_issue&issue=72

https://gitorious.org/f-droid/fdroidclient/merge_requests/32

(hiding version info on app details screen) https://f-droid.org/repository/issues/?do=view_issue&issue=34