The result of a joint venture between Silent Circle and Geeksphone, Blackphone claims to be the world's first smartphone to place privacy and control directly in the hands of its users. It runs a hardened version of Android called PrivatOS and comes loaded with security-minded tools and subscriptions like Silent Phone, Silent Text, Disconnect, SpiderOak, and Smarter Wi-Fi Manager.
The new app store will also be privacy-focused, and will only contain apps that have been thoroughly examined by the company. “We’ll have a few degrees of vetting,” said Blackphone CEO Toby Weir-Jones. “We’ll validate that the apps will do what they intend – call it the Apple model. If you have an app to manage your social media accounts and it wanted access to your microphone and your camera we might ask why and get on a first screening.”
He also clarified that the company is not aiming to create a "mass-market app store", which means that they won't be focusing on, for example, gaming apps or their own versions of social networking apps. Instead, the emphasis will be on quality apps with "things that have a broad alignment with our privacy and security focus".
And since Blackphone currently doesn't have access to Google Play (although users can download apps from the Amazon App Store), the company is hoping that having its own app store will also help it reach a wider audience.
Alongside its own app store, Blackphone will also roll out a new feature, dubbed Spaces, allowing users to separate work data from personal information on their smartphone.