Android 4.3 found to contain control center for app permissions, Photo Sphere improvements

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: July 26, 2013

Android 4.3 App ops

When Google first unveiled Android 4.3 earlier this week, the company highlighted some of the big new features that the updated version of Jelly Bean is bringing with it, like support for restricted profiles and Bluetooth Smart devices. Of course, there are plenty of other goodies tucked away inside 4.3 that didn't get called out on stage. Now that the 4.3 update has begun rolling out, folks have started to dig into it to find out what else Google has packed into its new flavor of Jelly Bean.

One of the big new features of Android 4.3 is "App Ops." This new feature, discovered by Android Police, is actually hidden away because it's not quite ready for everyday use just yet. It can be accessed by using apps that can load up activities, such as Nova Launcher, or by a dedicated app that one user has uploaded to Google Play.

Once launched, App Ops presents users with four tabs that break apps up into categories like "Location" and "Personal" based on the permissions that they use. Users can then selectively turn off different permissions for an app to block it from accessing certain data. This way, if a person doesn't want an app to do something like access their contacts or location information, they can turn those permissions off but still have access to the app itself.

Another notable feature in Android 4.3 is improved Photo Spheres. Evan Rapoport, a Google Maps Product Manager, recently revealed on Google+ that the latest version of Jelly Bean offers better alignment and stitching while taking photos with Photo Sphere. The app also offers improved exposure compensation that'll lead to fewer gray areas and inconsistent coloring in photos.

Finally, Android Police has found that an XXXHDPI category has been added to the Android 4.3 code. That points to support for super high-density screens, like those found on 4K televisions (3840x2160), being added to Google's mobile OS soon. That doesn't mean that we'll actually start seeing mobile hardware launch with the feature any time soon, but should some manufacturer get a wild hair and decide that it wants to try its hand at making a crazy high-res Android product, the OS support will be there.

Android 4.3 may not be a major overhaul with copious amounts of user-facing changes, but as evidenced by today's news, there are plenty of tweaks littered throughout the OS that ought to make for a better overall Jelly Bean. Expect more of those features to be discovered in the days and weeks ahead as more users gain access to the update. Have you installed Android 4.3 on any of your devices yet?

Via Android Police (1), (2), (3), +Evan Rapoport