Blackphone, the private smartphone, begins shipping to customers
The Blackphone has officially launched and is now shipping to customers who had pre-ordered the device. The privacy-focused smartphone is aimed at those who are looking to keep their personal information secure. It not only closes back doors on traditional operating systems that would usually allow others to access your information but also encrypts phone calls and other communications. First announced in February, the device has been delayed a number of times. Priced at $629, the Blackphone was originally due to launch in April but SGP Technologies has only just begun to ship units to customers.
The Blackphone is a specially designed smartphone that was jointly developed Silent Circle and Geeksphone. It allows users to choose their level of privacy, allowing to them choose what phone calls and other communications are encrypted. The idea for a privacy conscious phone came in the wake of the leaked documents from Edward Snowden that detailed the extent of the NSA’s data collection. The device runs the PrivatOS operating system. It has been custom built from Android to allow smartphones to protect user information. Some of the specific features include anonymous searching, disabling of smart Wi-Fi, more control of phone permissions and allowing private communication. The Blackphone features a quad-core 2 Ghz processor, 16GB of flash storage, an 8 MP camera, a 4.7-inch display and 2GB of RAM. Internet access is available using a virtual private network run by SGP Technologies.
Bundled with the device are a number of apps that focus on privacy and keeping user information protected. These include publicly available apps such as Silent Phone, Silent Text and Silent Contacts. However, it also comes with some exclusive apps such as Blackphone Security Center and Blackphone Remote Wipe. Updates for the phone will be delivered by a secure network directly from the manufacturer.
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