BlackBerry has offered some interesting insight into how it was able to shore up the Android operating system for its new Priv smartphone.
The Priv - which stands for private - is the first BlackBerry device to run Google’s mobile OS and the Waterloo-based firm has spent a long time working to bring security up to its very high standards.
In a blog post on Tuesday the firm has elaborated on how it brought its “world renowned security model” to an Android operating system often criticised for its sub-standard record in safeguarding user privacy.
That model includes the following principles outlined in BlackBerry’s own words (via AndroidCentral):
- BlackBerry’s Hardware Root of Trust, a unique manufacturing process that injects cryptographic keys into the device hardware, providing a secure foundation for the entire platform.
- Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain, which uses the embedded keys to verify every layer of the device from hardware to OS to applications in order to make sure they haven’t been tampered with.
- A hardened Linux kernel with numerous patches and configuration changes to improve security.
- FIPS 140-2 compliant full disk encryption on by default to protect your privacy.
- The BlackBerry Infrastructure, a secure distributed global network that transmits petabytes of encrypted data to and from the world’s most powerful leaders and professionals.
- BES12, the leading Enterprise Mobility Management platform used by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations.
While that's all a bit of a mouthful, the firm is hoping this exhaustive approach to ensuring Priv lives up to its name will enable its first Android smartphone to be a hit.
It is designed for those who enjoy a physical QWERTY keyboard as well as the impressive BlackBerry Hub from BB10. Meanwhile it’ll still bring access to a touchscreen, the Google Play store and the suite of core Google apps.
The amalgamation of old and new is certainly an intriguing prospect for smartphone shoppers: The benefits of Android with the security promise of a BlackBerry could be the Canadian smartphone firm’s ticket back to the big time.
Put it this way: Do you trust Samsung, HTC or Moto to keep your data safe like BlackBerry always has?