The Blackphone is a phone designed to include the functionality of modern smartphone but to incorporate protection against modern privacy concerns.
It runs off its own OS: PrivatOS. This is an Android-based operating system that was adapted by a company called Silent Circle. This OS contains no bloatware (such as system functions that use up disk space or RAM, like you often find on Android and iPhone devices).
Business or Personal Use?
This proprietary operating system comes with a function called ‘spaces’ which allows your device to contain several virtual devices – meaning that you don’t need to compromise sensitive data or allow everyday use to get in the way of your business. The OS comes with a pre-setup Space called ‘Silent Space’ which includes a set of apps developed by Silent circle, along with its own proprietary app store. There’s no limit on the amount of separate partitions that a user can add, though. For example, you may want to have a work space in which frequently used business apps that your IT department can control, allowing them the ability to select which apps and actions can and cannot interact with the business. This is particularly useful for security conscience organisations. You can then add personal or child-friendly spaces that work entirely independently to your work space and therefore will not get in the way.
Apps and 3rd Party Downloads
The App store, called the ‘Silent Store’ tries to put user privacy to the forefront by listing in plain English the different permissions each app will require in order to be installed, unlike Apple’s app store and the Google Play store.
- Blackphone Security Centre is a list of settings so you can control app permissions all in one place.
- Remote Wipe allows you to remove any data on your phone remotely, in case you lose the phone or it is stolen.
- Silent Phone makes private calls and video conferences more secure with an encrypted VoIP service that works internationally over 3G, 4G or WiFi.
- Conference Calling allows you to make conference calls with up to 6 people, all encrypted.
- Silent Text encrypts all text messages. You can also put on a Burn functionality, which destroys selected messages.
What next for the Blackphone?
A year after its release, Blackphone announced the release of the Blackphone 2 aswell as the Blackphone+ tablet. They didn’t give a specific date, however the Blackphone 2 is scheduled to arrive this September, with the Blackphone+ following and releasing before the year comes to a close.
The Spec of the Blackphone 2:
- 5.5 inch screen: same as the iPhone 6.
- Display: 1080p retina display protected by gorilla glass.
- Memory: 3GB Ram.
- Internal Storage: 32GB.
- Camera: 13MP and 5MP.
- 3060mAh battery – much larger than the iPhone 6.
Before the Blackphone was released, most security conscious organisations preferred to operate using BlackBerry handsets. However, the co-founder of Silent Circle, Mike Janke, said at the phones launch: “We’re replacing BlackBerry, we don’t care that BlackBerry’s CEO is throwing nasty things about us onto Twitter. We’re going to dominate them.”.