Some Samsung phones aren’t alerting users of app background processes

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Sunrise Gold
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Some Samsung phones are not listing Facebook apps in the App Permission Monitor, meaning users are not informed if those apps access certain permissions in the background.

Samsung’s App Permission Monitor is one of the headline features of Samsung’s implementation of Android 8.0 Oreo, and it works by notifying users when an app accesses resources, sensors, or permissions (like your phone’s camera or microphone) as a background process. In short, it keeps you informed as to what an app is doing when you might otherwise be unaware. Some users have noticed that certain apps are not appearing on the list of apps in App Permission Monitor — which means users won’t be alerted if those apps are accessing resources in the background.

According to one source, the issue seems to mainly affect apps from Facebook, with the main Facebook app, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram highlighted as being missing from certain users’ lists. We checked one of our Galaxy S8 units, and sure enough, Facebook wasn’t present on the App Permission Monitor list — but Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger all otherwise did appear on the list.

While this sounds suspect, there does seem to be a common link between those apps which are present and those which are not — whether or not the app was installed on the phone before sale. Facebook on our Galaxy S8 is not able to be uninstalled, only disabled, which usually means that this particular app was pre-installed on the Galaxy S8 when it arrived. Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp were all installed by a user, and so appear on the App Permission Monitor.

So does that mean that pre-installed Facebook apps have free rein to access anything on your phone? Not quite. Just because it’s not being monitored doesn’t mean it’s allowed access in the first place, and since Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android has allowed users to pick and choose app permissions. If you’re worried about any app’s permissions, you can still head over to your Apps menu, select that app, and then tap Permissions to see what that app does and doesn’t have access to. Thankfully, this works regardless of whether an app was pre-installed or not.

If you want to check out your Samsung phone’s App Permission Monitor for yourself, you can find it by heading over to your Settings app, then hitting Lock screen and security > App permission monitor.

We have reached out to Samsung for comment, and will update if we hear back.


Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 

Don't use streaming apps? These are the best free players for your local music

Rather than using music streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.

T-Mobile OnePlus 6T phones get some improvements in update

The new OnePlus 6T continues OnePlus's tradition, coming with flagship power, camera performance, and the gorgeous design you want -- but for under $600. Here's everything you need to know about the OnePlus 6T.
Smart Home

You can now make Skype calls on Amazon Echo devices

Amazon's Alexa can now make video and voice calls with Microsoft's Skype audio and video calling. Alexa-enabled devices can make voice calls. Alexa devices with video can make video calls to computers, mobile devices, and Xboxes.

Google replaces its classic Search page with Discover on mobile devices

As part of its 20th anniversary, Google unveiled its plans to improve Search, starting with its Google Feed. Now known as Discover, the update brings along a redesign to help you find content that aligns with your interests.

Sprint offers holiday buy one, get one free deal for iPhone XR lease

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…

How to find a lost phone, whether it's Android, iPhone, or any other kind

Need to know how to find a lost phone? We have a simple guide right here that will help you to locate your lost or stolen phone using both native and third-party apps and services, whether it’s a smartphone or an older model.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Social Media

Time alerts put the brakes on Facebook consumption, are rolling out now

Just how much time do you spend scrolling through the Facebook feed? Facebook will now tell you. The new features also include daily alerts that tell users when they've spent too much time on the social network.