Android Permissions

Welcome curious Android user. If you are the type who looks over the list of requested permissions for an application (and you should), you will often find some scary sounding things in the list. Below is the list of permissions that the Glympse application requests along with explanations as to why we ask for them.

The Android permission system requires applications to request all possible permissions at the time of install that might be needed at any point in the future by the application. There is no way for a customer to pick-and-choose which permissions to allow, and there is no way for an application to only request a permission when you use some feature in the application that requires that permission.

We can tell you that we love our customers (true), have been in the Android market since 2008 and featured many times (also true), and have very good ratings and loyal users (true again), but ultimately you have to trust us with the permissions below. Hopefully, these explanations will help you understand how each permission is used to make Glympse the great product that it is.

Storage: Modify or delete the contents of your USB storage

Glympse uses Android maps, which uses external/USB storage for caching downloaded map information.

Your messages : Read your text messages (SMS or MMS), receive text messages (SMS),send SMS messages

The permissions for receiving and reading text messages allow Glympse to determine when you have received a Glympse invite from a friend via an SMS text message, and prompt you to view your friend's location.

When you send a Glympse to someone, you can choose to send via an SMS text message, send via an email, post to Facebook, post to Twitter, copy to your clipboard, or send to another application on your phone. This send SMS messages permission is only needed if you choose to send an invite to a friend using an SMS text message. Note: If you prefer to use a Google Voice number to send SMS messages, you can use the “share via” button in the “Send a Glympse” page and choose a different program to send the Glympse invite.

System tools: Install shortcuts

Glympse allows you to save a favorite Glympse to your desktop for quick access. This permission is needed if you choose to use this feature.

Your location: Approximate (network-based) location, precise (GPS and network-based) location

These permissions are needed to obtain your location. Network-based location (also known as ‘coarse mode’) gets a quick location, but is not usually pinpoint accurate. GPS (also known as ‘fine mode’) is a bit slower to initially locate you, but is usually more accurate.

Bluetooth: Access Bluetooth settings, pair with Bluetooth devices

These permissions allow Glympse to be paired with many in-dash car systems that are “Glympse aware”. We have partnered with several car makers and will be rolling out support for new systems over time.

Your personal information: Activity recognition, read your own contact card, read calendar events plus confidential information

The “activity recognition” permission allows Glympse to optimize battery based on if you are walking, driving, or biking.

The “read your own contact card” permission allows Glympse to set your initial name and avatar. You can change these at any time in settings.

Glympse uses the calendar only when you enable calendar support on the main page under the ‘Shortcuts’ tab (defaults to being off). The only information read from your calendar is a list of upcoming meetings you have in the next 24 hours. For each meeting, Glympse will read the start time, list of participants, event name, and event destination. This allows Glympse to send an invite to all the participants of a meeting you are about to travel to. Glympse never stores, copies or transmits information from your calendar.

Phone calls: Read phone status and identity

This permission helps Glympse detect when there are changes to network conditions. For example, many phones lose their internet connection when a phone call is in progress and will resume the internet connection when the phone call is complete.

Network communication: Connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi, control Near Field Communication, full network access

The “connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi” permission allows Glympse to optimize battery when acquiring location from Wi-Fi triangulation.

The “Near Field Communication” permission is used for a feature we released at Google’s developer conference called "Tap-n-Track", which allows you to tap two Android phones together and instantly have them share their location with each other. This feature uses Android's Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities to detect when the phones have come in contact with each other.

Your social information: Read call log, read your contacts

The “read call log” permission allows you to quickly send a Glympse to a person you are currently talking to or have recently talked to. This feature works in the application and on a Samsung Galaxy Gear device.

For the “read contact data” permission, Glympse uses your contacts to allow you to pick a phone number or email address to send a Glympse to. Your contacts can also be used to pick an address as a destination.

System tools: Access extra location provider commands, test access to protected storage

This location provider permission provides more detailed location information so that Glympse can pick the best possible location source for your current situation.

The “test access” permission is allows the Android map control to check if it can use your external/USB storage for caching map information.

Network communication: Receive data from Internet, view Wi-Fi connections, view network connections

These permissions are used to help Glympse adapt to changing conditions with Wi-Fi based location and your internet connection. The Wi-Fi permission allows Glympse to be smart about picking the best location source in a given situation (like in a downtown area vs. a rural area). The network permission helps Glympse deal with a flakey internet connection and other network problems.

Your accounts: Find accounts on the device, read Google service configuration

The “find accounts” permission is required for Glympse to use ‘push’ on Android. ‘Push’ allows a Glympse user to request the location of another Glympse user.

The “read Google service configuration” permission is needed to use many of the new features in Google Play Services, such as better location, routing, and maps.

Affects battery: Control vibration, prevent phone from sleeping

For the “control vibration” permission, Glympse uses standard Android notifications for events such as receiving a Glympse from a friend or when you reach the destination of your Glympse. This permission allows these notifications to also play a short vibration pattern.

The “prevent phone from sleeping” permission allows Glympse to obtain your location when running in the background while actively sharing your location with others. Most devices do not need this permission, but some devices require it. This permission is only used when you are actively sharing your location.