Permissions API

By  on  

Many of the functionalities that we're translated from mobile to the web require permission from the user.  Think about geolocation, audio/video access (think getUserMedia for camera access), and likewise APIs.  We can probably all agree that requiring permission for access to these APIs is a good thing, but I see a problem:  there's sometimes no way to access each APIs permission level without triggering a request to the user to get that information.  Obtrusive to say the least!

I recently discovered the Permissions API which provides a method to query the permission level for an API without trigger a request to the user for access.  Let's look at a simple example:

// Get the geolocation status (starts out as "prompt")
// ... meaning the user will be shown an access request if we want it
navigator.permissions.query({ name: 'geolocation' }).then(function(result) {
    /* result.status = "prompt" */
});

// Request geolocation access if we really want it
navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(function(result) { /* ... */  })

// Assuming the user requested access, the permission is now "granted"
navigator.permissions.query({ name: 'geolocation' }).then(function(result) {
    /* result.status = "granted" */
});

// Push notifications require options:
navigator.permissions.query({ name: 'push', userVisibleOnly:true }).then(function(result) { /* ... */ });

I love this new API -- a clear path for getting a permission level without needing to request any information from the user. For example: if the permission level is negative, don't ask the user permission to do something, or prompt the user in another fashion to allow a given permission.

Do you see another advantage to this API? Share!

Recent Features

  • By
    JavaScript Promise API

    While synchronous code is easier to follow and debug, async is generally better for performance and flexibility. Why "hold up the show" when you can trigger numerous requests at once and then handle them when each is ready?  Promises are becoming a big part of the JavaScript world...

  • By
    From Webcam to Animated GIF: the Secret Behind chat.meatspac.es!

    My team mate Edna Piranha is not only an awesome hacker; she's also a fantastic philosopher! Communication and online interactions is a subject that has kept her mind busy for a long time, and it has also resulted in a bunch of interesting experimental projects...

Incredible Demos

Discussion

  1. Adam

    Like for some apps, we can show a nice information that we are going to ask you permission for ex. geolocation and explain why would we need this, if you tell me what are you going to do with this, then I am more about accepting…

  2. Vladimir Georgiev

    It seems in Chrome you need to look for result.state, and not result.status

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!