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Blackphone sheds light on world's first privacy-focused app store

Blackphone app store
Blackphone to open front door to app store - no backdoors allowed

Blackphone is giving privacy-focused apps their first home thanks to the January launch of its own app store for the company's off-the-record smartphone.

It's officially known as the Blackphone app store, and while the name may be unoriginal, the concept is unique: this is the first in the world to solely focus on privacy applications.

Mail clients, messaging services and other applications are said to be on the way, all with the extra security layers via Blackphone's trusted VPN.

Blackphone CEO Toby Weir-Jones told TechRadar that his company is going to curate these apps. Backdoors that sometimes exist in Android apps aren't going to be a part of this store.

PrivatOS 1.1 update

The Blackphone app store is only half of the company's announcement today. It's also adding a new feature called "Silent Spaces" within PrivatOS version 1.1.

These are self-contained spaces for apps, data and accounts, all on one device. Blackphone is determined to rid privacy-concerned users of the need to carry two smartphones.

It sounds a whole lot easier than juggling a pair of phones, too. Switching between two Silent Space happens in the pull-down notification menu of the Android KitKat-based PrivatOS.

Weir-Jones describes the transition between Silent Spaces as instantaneous and completely separate. Games can live on one space while while sensitive work files are house in another.

Sandboxing Samsung Knox

What's unique is that PrivatOS 1.1's Silent Spaces feature makes both environments secure. That's unlike the app sandboxing method of something like Samsung Knox.

Blackphone doesn't just separate sensitive data from normal everyday apps, leaving you data vulnerable without you even knowing it. It promises a complete privacy solution.

Of course, this means that, unlike Samsung's devices, the Google Play Store isn't available to this almost spy-proof smartphone that features a forked Android operating system.

Instead, Blackphone's privacy-focused app store is to become the star of this locked-down phone in the new year with its trusty sidekick, sideloading apps from places like the Amazon app store.

We'll have more on Blackphone's future care of our discussion with CEO Toby Weir-Jones. Stay tuned for tomorrow's update.

Matt Swider

US Editor-in-Chief

Matt Swider is TechRadar's gadget-savvy, globe-trotting US Editor-in-Chief Editor who leads the US team in New York City. He began his tech journalism career all the way back in 1999 at the ripe at of 14, and first started writing for TechRadar in 2012. He's tested over 1,000 phones, tablets and wearables and commands a Twitter account of 600,000+ followers. Matt received his journalism degree from Penn State University and is never seen without his TechRadar headphones.