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Blackphone gets a secure app store for apps that don't spy on you

Coming in January, the app store for the privacy-focused Blackphone will only allow apps that pass several security tests.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Can you keep a secret? The ultra-secure Blackphone is getting its own app store that only sells apps that won't sell you out.

The Blackphone is a collaboration between hardware manufacturer Geeksphone and Silent Circle, which helps you keep your communication safe from prying eyes. The phone boasts tight encryption to keep your data safe, and comes with subscriptions to services that protect your calls, texts and emails.

The Blackphone app store will launch in January and will examine apps before allowing them in the store -- described as "the Apple model" by Blackphone chief executive Toby Weir-Jones.

"We'll have a few degrees of vetting," Weir-Jones told the Guardian. "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."

The store will not offer games or social network apps.

The Blackphone does not work with the Google Play Store, the official repository of apps and games for Android phones and tablets. Unlike Apple, Google doesn't vet apps, which means Google Play has more on offer but is open to infiltration by malware.

The Blackphone does have access to Amazon's rival Android app store, but setting up its own app emporium will ensure corporate users and security-minded individuals can get useful apps safe in the knowledge they'll meet the standards of privacy a user seeks when buying a device like this.

Corporate users will soon be able to use a new feature called Spaces that separates work data from personal information on the phone, similar to BlackBerry Balance or Samsung's Knox feature.

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