BlackBerry Privacy Shade Protects Your Smartphone Screen

BlackBerry has a new solution for those who are worried about someone peeking over their shoulder to look at their smartphone screens. The idea is sort of in line with the ads Apple has been running for the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil which showcase a way for users to print personal documents privately at the office without having to dash for the printer to pick them up before someone else sees them.

And it’s easy to see why companies like BlackBerry and Apple are selling digital privacy. Between the NSA digital surveillance program leaked by Edward Snowden a few years ago and the CIA documents leaked by WikiLeaks just this month, privacy is becoming a hotter and hotter topic. As a result, digital privacy products are probably pretty easy to sell these days.

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How BlackBerry’s Privacy Shade works

BlackBerry revealed its Privacy Shade in a blog post on Friday. While it sounds like some kind of physical shade to put on your smartphone, it’s actually an app, which makes sense because of the Canadian firm’s push away from hardware and deeper into software. The app fits nicely into the company’s suite of cyber-security offerings, further cementing its position as an authority on digital security.

The app is a sort of filter that allows users to read any content on their smartphones in public without worrying about what people around them can see on their phone’s screen while looking over their shoulder. Privacy Shade enables users to adjust the filter’s transparency while obscuring the parts of their screen that they’re not actually using or looking at. Users can also interact with the parts that aren’t obscured. The filter can also be adjusted so that it suits the user’s surroundings.

Quick access to Privacy Shade

BlackBerry also offers quick access to the app in different ways, depending on the phone it’s being used on. For example, the app can be added to the Quick Settings on Android devices running on 7.0 Nougat or higher. Also all Android device users can flip Privacy Shade on or off using the optional notification that can be found in the notification tray.

Users with a BlackBerry device that has a Convenience Key can assign it to the Convenience Key, while those with a Blackberry device which supports Swipe Shortcuts can make it one of the shortcuts.

Privacy Shade can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, but it’s not available to iOS users.

BlackBerry also upgrades Hub

In addition to Privacy Shade, BlackBerry also included a list of other updates for the month of March. The company added support for Telegram and Kik and the ability to enable automatic CC or BCC in emails. It also added support for Android Wear Notifications to Hub+ and dual SIM card support.

Blackberry improved the contact linking and cleanup process and tightened up security even further by adding a notification if the software detects an integrity issue with the operating system. Users will receive a notification on their device when the update is available in the Google Play Store.