BlackBerry unofficially officially announced the BlackBerry Priv last week. I say that because it was put up for pre-order at Carphone Warehouse, but BlackBerry didn’t actually announce it, but now they aren’t denying that it’s official. This is their first smartphone to run on Android and not just run Android apps. So we’re looking at vanilla Android, at least that we can see. We’ll talk more about that later. Which means it also runs Google’s services with some pretty high-end specs. Could this be the BlackBerry we all want?
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Today, the Waterloo company expanded on how they made the Priv secure, even while running Android. After all that is their specialty. Starting off with the BlackBerry Hardware Root of Trust. Which is a unique manufacturing process which puts cryptographic keys into the hardware. This provides a secure foundation for the platform. BlackBerry also has a Verified Boot and Secure Boot chain, a hardened Linux Kernel which has numerous patches to improve security as well as a FIPS 140-2 compliant full disk encryption which is on by default (similar to what we have in Marshmallow). We also have BES12. Which is BlackBerry Enterprise services. This is a leading enterprise mobility management platform and it has been used by governments and corporations both large and small.
On top of all of that, BlackBerry has also integrated Android at Work which is a unique program and platform from Google. Basically it allows you to use the same apps on your phone with two profiles. So you have your work profile and your home or personal profile. Without carrying around two phones. While the work profile is managed by the IT team at your place of employment, and is much more secure than your personal profile. We got a chance to demo this at MWC earlier this year, and were quite impressed with how well it actually worked.
Currently, there’s no word on when the BlackBerry Priv will be available Stateside. Hopefully we’ll have some information on that soon. Currently we do know it’s coming to the UK and to Canada. But no firm release dates are available just yet.