The heart of the confusion is the way android messenger permissions work. When you install a new app from Google Play, a list of app permissions requested from the application are displayed for the user.
The permissions can look scary, especially if you read the various descriptions involved. It’s important for users to look at application permissions before installing an app, for users who are unfamiliar with the language of Android’s app permissions — or with how web services work — it can be scary.
Apple, by contrast, is able to show users more granular permissions for various permissions as they are needed. That means that when you install an app, a set number of permissions — such as Internet access — are a given. Other activity requires consent.
Google is aware of this, and the company continues to improve how app permissions are displayed.
Indeed, if you compare how Facebook Messenger’s permissions are displayed today, versus how they looked when the Huffington Post article was written, the experience is already vastly different.