BlackBerry Priv’s Key Features Detailed
When BlackBerry announced the Blackberry Priv last month, few people were surprised. Earlier in the year, BlackBerry CEO John Chen had stated that his company only builds secure phones, and so by all means, if BlackBerry could build a secure Android phone, then that’s exactly what they would do. Going off of that, it seemed inevitable that the phone would happen as not only could Blackberry use the sales (Android is the biggest operating system in the world), but with the OS also being oft-criticized for its lackluster security, a secure Android phone was destined to make a splash.
Unfortunately, any interest in the handset was dampened by the fact that the announcement (which came during an investor’s call) didn’t come with any specs or even a glimpse of the phone. In fact, the only idea we had of what the BlackBerry Priv would offer were from leaked spec lists and leaked images of the phone; but given the nature of the info, it wasn’t a sure thing. Thankfully, giving us much more to go on is an official corporate blog post for the BlackBerry Priv, detailing some of their phone’s key features.
One of the main selling points of the BlackBerry Priv is its touchscreen/keyboard combo. For many people, the QWERTY keyboards on the classic BlackBerry handsets were one of their biggest selling points, so it makes sense that they’re being preserved with the Priv. The phone will feature a “revolutionary” keyboard, which slides out from under the phone’s touchscreen. It’s currently unclear how large the touchscreen is, but with the phone supporting Google Play, it’s likely that the phone has been designed with both business communications and long commutes (filled with Angry Birds and Cut The Rope) in mind.
As for the BlackBerry Priv’s security features, the blog post details a plethora of things bound to make security-conscious users happy. Namely, the phone will feature BlackBerry’s patented picture password feature, which the company says will protect you from ‘spatio-temporal dynamics’, a new hacking tactic where hackers record smartphone users and then use algorithms to figure out which buttons were being pressed. Additionally, Priv users will also have access to BlackBerry’s suite of secure apps including WatchDox for private file-sharing, BBM Meetings for private conferences, and SecuSUITE for private voice calls. They also aim to “provide users with powerful feedback and control over how applications make use of security-critical device” with things like DTEK, which is a warning system app.
Furthermore, BlackBerry notes that they have “a long history delivering that to customers with the highest value resources under their (and hence our) protection” and that “BlackBerry’s vulnerability patch program is second to none in the industry”, something which especially useful given that a recent Cambridge University study states that 9 out of 10 Android devices are exposed to a critical vulnerability. The Priv presumably will be in the 10%. Unfortunately, no specs have been confirmed (though BlackBerry says the Priv will have the “latest hardware”) and there’s still no release date other than ‘2015’ but we’ll keep you posted.
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