Android App Update 2.0.18 Permissions - Why?

Why does the new android update need so many permissions?

The request for permissions should be explained in the app update.

I see requests for:
device & app history
sms
phone
microphone
device id & call info

Can you please explain why these permissions are needed?

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Some permissions I believe are related to being able to call support, directly from the app. The phone call stays in app, meaning the call doesn’t go through your normal default phone app. Just a guess as to some reasons, but @Anand_at_Blink or @nick_at_blink should be able to give you a correct answer.

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We recently integrated Ujet in-app support inside the app. We can do things like make calls over the internet, take a screenshot, request additional logs etc when you talk to our customer support.

All these things happen only if the user gives us permission at runtime. For example, before talking screenshot, the user has to give us Android permission. We did all this for better customer support. We are still accessing as to how much it is helping users and may remove it in future if required.

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As Anand mentions we have been spending a fair amount of time investigating “Serviceability” capabilities The new Ujet Smart functions is just one of them, this will not only help in the Tech Support area it will help in the general Customer Service aspects, package damaged, missing components, etc, we’ll be able to get a picture right through the app in the call path vs. having to ask customers to take a picture attach it to a email and send to us.

We’ll also be adding in some abilities to troubleshoot Wifi networks allowing us to capture the wifi configuration, rtr types, features enabled, firewall versions, etc. Customers having issues with their Wifi networks is one of the top call generators. Today we are blind to all of the configuration and can only rely on them to tell us the configurations, often times they don’t even know themselves. I’m not talking people in the community, think of our general customer base.

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While I appreciate the app and what you are trying to do I am still unclear on some of the new permissions and why they are needed.

Retrieve running apps?
Read text messages?
Record Audio?

When you say “All these things happen only if the user gives us permission at runtime.” What do you mean? If I install the app update I assume I am giving permission. I am on an older version of Android and can not control permissions after the app is installed.

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Has there been an answer on this regarding permissions? I’m also curious, for example, why sms permissions would be needed for a security camera?