Oh Amazon, what are you up to? Why do you want so much from us? If we say yes, what are we letting ourselves in for?
These are some of the thoughts that flew across my mind when my phone wanted to update the Amazon app. Granted, I use the Amazon Appstore to pick up the odd app or two when it’s on deal of the day. Accepted, by now there’s a general knowledge that one has to explicitly tick the “Allow installation from sources other than the Play Store”. We get that. Ticking, installing and unticking isn’t a problem as we choose that. We know the specific app we’re installing or updating.
But when the list of permissions required then comes in at nineteen different things… we’re left wondering if we’re updating a bookstore or an entire operating system inside my Android OS.
Then the realisation occurs. Maybe some of the permissions are understandable. For instance – Read from external storage. If you can have Kindle books stored on an SD card, it makes sense to need it. The same with Write to external storage. But when we get to things like “Open network sockets”, and “Access the torch”?
And for the love of Peter and Mary (sorry you two), why do we now have to update the Amazon app which was downloaded from the Play Store through Amazon’s systems? Either this is a Play app, or it isn’t a Play app.
As stated, that was when the realisation kicked in. This isn’t for the Amazon app for buying things. This is for the Amazon platform they’ve been building out. This app controls every other app you can buy from the Amazon App Store, and that means pretty much every type of application possible. That’s why all those permissions are required.
Ingenious. It’s a Trojan app. Well played Amazon. You’re pulling a Chrome App Launcher on Google itself.