Lunescope requests the following permissions from the Android system. Tap on any of the permissions – or just scroll down – for a detailed explanation of exactly what Lunescope is doing with each.
- YOUR LOCATION
- Moon rise and set times depend on where you are
- FULL NETWORK ACCESS
- To look up locations, and to download moon imagery
- VIEW NETWORK CONNECTIONS
- To retry failed downloads
- RUN AT STARTUP
- Essential to making the notifications work
- SET WALLPAPER
- Management of the app's live wallpaper
- MODIFY/DELETE USB STORAGE or SD CARD CONTENTS
- To store various images for faster operation
APPROXIMATE (NETWORK-BASED) LOCATION
Displaying moon rise, set, and rotation angle – as well as most items on the Data screen – requires the app to know roughly where on Earth you are. So, Lunescope requests your approximate (sometimes called coarse) location from the Android system, which can usually supply it quickly and efficiently from your network provider.
PRECISE (GPS) LOCATION
Ordinarily, Lunescope is perfectly happy to use your approximate (network-based) location; the low accuracy is more than sufficient for the app’s purposes. See the previous permission for more details on this.
However, a problem arises when you don’t have network coverage, or when you’re roaming on a network which doesn’t provide location services. The app still needs your location, and GPS is the only other (automated) alternative. For people who use the app in remote areas – say, when camping, or traveling overseas – this is the only way the app can get their location.
So, the app requires the GPS permission. But it doesn’t actually need your precise location – and you are free to turn off the GPS interface, either within the app (Settings > My Location), or system-wide on your device. You’ll just be limited to network-based location services, which is fine for most folks.
Finally, rest assured that the app won’t power on your GPS if you’ve turned it off at the device level. No app can do that unless you’ve rooted your device – and even then, Lunescope won’t.
FULL NETWORK ACCESS
Lunescope has two functions which require internet access.
First is location search; by querying internet search services, the app can look up (and thus show moon data for) virtually any city, town, or other generally-known placename. This allows you to use Lunescope's features for just about any place on Earth.
Second, there are a couple of app functions which download imagery on demand:
- There's an option in Settings for Maximum realism, which gives a more realistic view of the moon.
- Zooming in on the moon goes to Map view – showing more detail of the surface, and the names of places on it.
In both these cases, however, the imagery used is relatively large – so to keep the size of the app down, it’s only downloaded on demand. This occurs once, when you first access each of these options; thereafter, the imagery is stored on your device, and won’t need to be re-downloaded.
VIEW NETWORK CONNECTIONS
The moon Map only works if your device is online, right? (See the previous section for more details.) This permission lets Lunescope see that network connection, and retry imagery downloads if a failed connection comes back while the Map is still open.
RUN AT STARTUP
This permission is used by Lunescope's notification system. When there is a notification due, the app needs to be running in order to send it, and starting with your device is the only way to make this happen.
The good news is that the app doesn't hang around long after your device starts up. It just checks to see if a notification is due, then shuts down.
The app’s live wallpaper is among its most popular features, and not surprisingly, this permission is needed for full management of that functionality.
MODIFY/DELETE USB STORAGE or SD CARD CONTENTS
The exact wording of this permission varies by device, but it means the same thing: the app has the ability to read and write your device’s user data storage, be that an SD card, USB drive, or internal storage.
Lunescope uses this ability to increase the speed (and decrease the battery usage) of its operations. It’s a graphically-intensive app, and creating the various graphics can be a load on the system. So, the app goes to great lengths to not generate graphics more than it has to; instead, it saves copies of these images for future use. This is best done on your device’s user storage, so Lunescope needs permission to do so.
The app does its best to manage this storage use, and not use too much. If you want to delete these files manually, you can do so from your device’s system settings, under Applications > Manage Applications > Lunescope > Clear Data. These files will also be deleted automatically by the system if you ever uninstall Lunescope.
Note: application storage is handled differently on Android 4.4 (Kitkat) and later, so if you're running a newer device, you won't see this permission.