Wishlist: Android Firewall

I guess this might as well be a forum on "things BlackBerry does right that Android should do too". Count this up as another one…

imageBlackBerry users and their company’s Systems Administrators love that BBOS has a built in firewall that can control messaging and communications.

And, to be fair, there are apps on the Android Marketplace that allow users to block unwanted text/SMS/MMS messages or calls to their Android phones (such as…).

However, another feature—and the reason I am writing this wishlist post—is the ability to control applications on your phone with access OUT to the world without your knowledge.

imageFor example (see screenshot courtesy of BBCurve Blog) to see that when Opera Mini, the popular alternative web browser, tries to connect to the Internet, you are popped a warning with information about which app is connecting, where it’s connecting to "server-4.operamini.com" and controls on if this should be Allowed, Denies and/or ignored in the future.

Unfortunately, there was sometimes where the messaging was inconsistent or the controls were changed for some reason, not allowing you to have the firewall "Ask every time" something connects.

For me, I like knowing what the apps on my phone are doing.  I would like a robust firewall that would have easy/medium/advanced settings allowing me to either:

  • Set-and-forget it: Block all incoming connections that aren’t authorized and let me white/black list outgoing connections as they come up.
  • Give me more control: Let me set more intuitive/detailed whitelists and allow certain protocols, etc., or allow certain apps (like gmail app) to access anything on, say, *..com without additional permission—but ask me if it starts going out to rogue URIs without approval.
  • I want to do everything: Sure, I will not do this, but why not give the L33t access to even more granular controls, even IPTables kindof crazy-granular access?
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