Blackphone 2 Goes On Sale, As BlackBerry Priv Decloaks
You wait ages for the subsequent gen of professional-privateness smartphones to return alongside after which a few contenders begin making noise directly…
Immediately Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2 has gone on sale — with an RRP of $799 (excluding taxes). The corporate began taking pre-orders for the system final month, having first introduced the telephone again in March on the Cellular World Congress commerce present.
In the meantime, on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen lastly confirmed the numerous leaks pointing to a forthcoming Android-powered BlackBerry, as a result of go on sale by the top of this yr in “main markets”. The BlackBerry Priv — because it’s referred to as — runs “Google”, as Chen put it, whereas demoing the Qwerty slider to BNN. There’s no phrase on the Priv’s worth-tag at this level.
Silent Circle’s Blackphone targets the enterprise phase the place BlackBerry used to dominate, earlier than it fell behind the Android and iOS curve. Blackphone 2 runs the corporate’s safety-hardened taste of Android, now referred to as Silent OS. And though that is an Android fork it now consists of Google providers — such because the Play Retailer — in addition to help for Google’s Android For Work program, to verify the IT division’s ‘cellular system administration’ field.
Silent Circle says the handset is the first element of its cloud-based mostly Enterprise Privateness Platform — which includes a set of providers, software program and units all aimed toward interesting to enterprise customers by baking in privateness. It’s additionally licensed with present MDM methods, together with MobileIron, Citrix, Good and SOTI.
And whereas, on the floor, the telephone’s OS now appears extra like A N Different commonplace Android handset, a spokesman for Silent Circle asserts that underneath the hood key safety-targeted variations stay. “They’ve labored nearer with Google than they did earlier than, which is why you’ll see that the Android platform is a a lot more true model. However SilentOS… is constructed deep into the telephone so every little thing that sits on it is extremely a lot an enhanced model of Android,” he says.
The Blackphone hardware presents a car for Silent Circle’s present encrypted comms apps, similar to Silent Telephone — that are additionally out there on different firm’s hardware — however the handset additionally consists of further options comparable to Safety Middle, the place customers can granularly tweak app permissions, and a sandboxing function referred to as Areas that gives separate safe environments to place limitations between private and enterprise knowledge.
The unique Blackphone included subscriptions to quite a lot of professional-privateness third get together providers. However SilentOS now bakes in additional options so, whereas there’s a one-yr subscription to Silent Circle’s providers included within the worth-tag, there’s not the vary of third celebration subscription providers that have been included with the debut handset.
“What has been developed much more is definitely what is on the market on the telephone itself,” says the spokesman, discussing the shift away from bundling in third social gathering subscription providers. “Earlier than you didn’t have entry to issues like Areas, the Safety Middle, these points of the telephone have been immediately constructed into the brand new telephone, which didn’t exist earlier than.
“The wi-fi supervisor is greater than merely managing connections — it offers you with an additional layer of safety the place in the event you’re in an space the place there’s an insecure community it helps forestall making a connection, until you specify you’re snug with permitting it to occur, which you wouldn’t get with another conventional wi-fi techniques.”
And whereas the unique Blackphone bundled a subscription to safe cloud storage and file switch service SpiderOak, the spokesman notes that safe file transfers can now be executed by way of the Silent Telephone software — which permits for information of as much as 1GB to be transferred by way of its encrypted community.
In addition to Google Play on board Blackphone 2, there’s additionally a Blackphone app retailer which goals to supply a curated choice of apps safety reviewed by Silent Circle employees. As but there aren’t many apps on this retailer however the spokesman says the goal is to start out fleshing that out now. “They’re going to start filling that over the subsequent few months,” he notes. “There’s additionally going to be purposes out there on Google Play that get put by means of a rigorous collection of exams by the safety staff and engineering group inside Silent Circle.
“And then you definitely’re going to virtually have purposes that sit in that retailer which though they’re linked immediately by way of to Google Play, [you’ll have] the peace of thoughts and information that they’ve gone by means of a radical testing course of. And any purposes that may sit in that retailer are ones that are extremely safe, unlikely to be leaking any of your knowledge.”
Specs clever, the Blackphone 2 beefs up the unique handset’s hardware with a bigger, 5.5inch display, an Octa-core Qualcomm processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB of inner storage plus a Micro SD card slot for consumer expandable storage, and a thirteen-megapixel digital camera.