Famous Android developer Steve Kondik, who is better known in developer circles as Cyanogen, has announced a new feature for his Android ROM—CyanogenMod. The new feature allows users to run apps in incognito mode. It will be a simple privacy feature that is designed to let users have more control over the data that is generally accessed by apps.

The new feature will work on a per-application basis, where you can pick incognito mode for specific apps instead of having a blanket setting apply to all apps. Kondik points out that he isn’t providing a way to block ads or spoof device information, like IMEIs. Instead, this is a feature to simply let users have more control of their privacy on smartphones.

Would you like to stay of the grid?

Would you like to stay off the grid?

Kondik has given a list of features that the new Incognito Mode flag will have:

  • Return empty lists for contacts, calendar, browser history and messages
  • GPS will appear always disabled to the running application
  • When an app is running incognito, a quick panel item is displayed in order to turn it off easily
  • No fine-grained permissions controls as you saw in CM7; It's a single option available under application details

Incognito Mode was originally made available for browsers. Its first appearance on Android smartphones was on the browser on Cyanogen’s custom ROM. It later gained popularity and started showing up in the standard Android browser in a lot of devices. However, the first ever instance of an Incognito Mode, at the time referred to as Privacy Mode, was on Apple’s Safari browser back in 2005.

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