After some confusion as to why Google keeps trying to make App Ops practically inaccessible in KitKat (see here and here), we now have a bit of clarification. According to Googler Dianne Hackborn, Google never intended App Ops to be a feature for end users. Instead, it was (and is) a development feature for Google engineers.
Hackborn took to Google+ in response to someone who asked about the matter, stating:
That UI is (and it should be quite clear) not an end-user UI. It was there for development purposes. It wasn’t intended to be available. The architecture is used for a growing number of things, but it is not intended to be exposed as a big low-level UI of a big bunch of undifferentiated knobs you can twiddle. For example, it is used now for the per-app notification control, for keeping track of when location was accessed in the new location UI, for some aspects of the new current SMS app control, etc.
A bit later, she went on to clarify further:
The current UI is definitely not something that is appropriate for end users; it is mostly for platform engineers (a tool for examining, debugging, and testing the state of that part of the system), maybe some day for third party developers. In what form these features might be available in the regular UI I couldn’t really speculate about.
I think all of us anticipated that this was the case, but secretly hoped that Google would turn a blind eye. Given the demand for this feature, it’s always possible that Google might reconsider and roll this into future versions of Android, but in the meantime it looks like we are out of luck. It was a nice party while it lasted![Google+ via Android Police]