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XPrivacy 0.20 offers root users new way to control Android privacy

XPrivacy vs ScanimalzXPrivacy is an application for rooted Jelly Bean devices, which allows you to control Android privacy settings in a different fashion than the simple allow/deny options provided by other privacy apps.

Unlike traditional privacy guards that simply don’t allow an app to access your data, you can choose to feed apps with false contact information or locations, for example. This prevents certain applications from simply crashing when they’re denied the data you don’t want them to have, and prevents others from requiring you trade your contact’s information for game play.

XPrivacy runs on the Xposed Framework, which means you’ll need to download and install the Xposed framework installer, run it, install the updates and reboot, flash the Xposed-Disabler from recovery, download and Install XPrivacy, enable XPrivacy in the Xposed installer, reboot into recovery, flash the Xposed fix for your version of Android, and reboot again to get it to work. It sounds long and complicated, but it only takes about three minutes, and then you’ll have the XPosed framework in place later for anything else that needs it.

The advantages to this application over others are that it’s not an all-or-nothing approach, as you can drill down into what data is faked and what is denied. It also does not require that you run an AOSP ROM.

The disadvantages are that the process to set it up is a bit convoluted, and at the moment there doesn’t seem to be a way to move settings from one version to the next. On some ROMs or setups, it can even turn the phone into an absurdly slow brick.

Your experiences will probably vary. If you experience near-death slowdown, simply disable the thing in the Xposed framework installer, reboot, and you’re back to normal. Considering the application has gone through multiple upgrades, fixes, and patches over the past few days, I expect the bugs will probably be fixed, stomped and squished soon enough. So for now, treat it as a very beta product.

As this involves flashing two separate patches (one for Xposed, and one for XPrivacy), I’d advise making a nandroid backup before installing this, just in case anything goes awry.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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