We’ve just come back from Mobile World Congress 2015 where we unveiled the world’s first enterprise privacy platform. We are pleased to share new updates to two key pieces of the platform: the Silent Suite of applications and PrivatOS, the customized Blackphone operating system!
For Blackphone users, the upgrade to PrivatOS 1.1 will is now be available via Over The Air (OTA) in the coming days. You can find detailed, up-to-date information about the new features at my.blackphone.ch.
The first and biggest new feature PrivatOS 1.1 brings is Spaces, and we believe this is going to be a real game changer. Completely isolate enterprise apps and data from your personal ones on the same phone, or give IT Managers the ability to control, configure and manage independent work spaces – without having to give them access and visibility to your personal information. This is Spaces. You will no longer have to carry two phones, and IT managers will no longer have to worry about what applications users install. Users can do whatever they like in their personal spaces, and IT managers can be confident in the security of work documents and contacts. Spaces on the Blackphone enables a compartmentalized experience.
Spaces in PrivatOS 1.1 allows the coexistence of up to three spaces on one device, each of them being an OS-virtualized container that is firewalled from the other two. The first space is the “Silent Space” which hosts our Silent Suite–offering encrypted calls, texts and contacts–and runs under our recommended privacy and security settings. Then you or your IT manager will be able to create, configure and manage two more additional spaces based on specific needs. Each Space can run its own set of applications and configurations.
This separation of your data in Spaces allows you to have different instances of your email accounts, contacts, and calendars, ensuring no one in your organization can access your personal data. It can also allow you to separate apps you may be suspicious about from trusted apps in your Silent Space—create a personal Space for games or social media apps, for example, so that even if they try to access your data, they’ll be isolated from your important contacts and information. Maybe you are an executive who wants your kids to have a safe Space to use on the phone without access to your work apps and documents. Or perhaps you are a lawyer who wants your private documents in a long password protected and encrypted space. At the end of the day, there are endless possibilities, and they’re all enabled with the use of Spaces.
Another exciting feature is Silent Circle’s already-announced app store, the Silent Store. We are very aware of how important it is to be able to safely install new applications on your smartphone, and this is why we are pleased to introduce the Silent Store. Users downloading and installing applications from the Silent Store can have peace of mind knowing that Silent Circle has reviewed each of the submitted applications for reasonable security-minded coding and implementation practices. And of course, each app’s requested permissions are clearly listed for transparency.
We are actively working with the developer community to expand the number and types of available applications in the Silent Store over the coming days, weeks and months. You will have access to a constantly expanding selection of productivity apps, new browsers with additional privacy countermeasures, cloud storage options, VPNs, maps, etc. Even flashlight apps. Did you know that flashlight apps are normally one of the most invasive and data-leaking apps in app stores? Not in the Silent Store—any included app will have passed our validation procedures.
Beyond those major highlights, we’re also adding a number of other features to improve the usability of Blackphone. We’ve added text to speech as an accessibility feature, integrated a proper file manager, made enhancements to the UI and text elements throughout PrivatOS and created welcome wizards to help you set up Spaces.
Together with these additions to PrivatOS, we‘ve added even more updates to our platform: earlier this week we released push notifications for incoming Silent Phone calls when the application wasn’t running on Silent Phone for iOS; with additional updates starting today, users will see a host of improvements to the Silent Phone application, making encrypted calling and video chats even easier on iOS, Android, and PrivatOS. The new update also brings added support for restrictive network environments.
Finally, we are working with CITRIX, SOTI, and Good MDM (Mobile Device Management) providers to make PrivatOS, as well as our devices and applications, manageable through the main MDM systems. We don’t want to force any enterprise to use any specific MDM solution, but rather be compatible with all of them to give IT managers the degree of choice they deserve.
We remain committed to constantly improving our privacy platform of devices, software and services for our users, and these updates are just the latest demonstration of that commitment. We hope you share our excitement about our next generation enterprise privacy platform.
VP Engineering, Silent Circle