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BlackBerry's BBM 'Private Chat' Protects Against Unwanted Screenshots

Blackberry launched a new "Private Chat" feature for its BBM instant messaging application for Blackberry 10, Android and iOS. Private Chat is meant to strip out the pictures and names from a conversation so that if anyone takes a screenshot, they can't see who said what.

In the demo above, Blackberry portrayed a situation in which one employee tells another that he will pretend to get sick so he doesn't come to work the next day. Blackberry said that if he had used Private Chat, then his privacy would have been protected in this case because the other colleague in the conversation wouldn't be able to take a screenshot of it. Of course, the colleague could also tell their boss that Zack is only pretending to be sick, but he wouldn't have any proof of it.

Private Chat conversations can also self-destruct after a certain amount of time, and you can set the length in BBM's settings. The Private Chat feature and the timing for self-destruction of messages are included in the new Privacy and Control Subscription, which will cost $0.99 a month. Current subscribers of the "Timed and Retracted Messages" feature, which Private Chat will be replacing, will be upgraded for free to the new bundle.

The new BBM update also includes a redesign on Android, which follows Google's "Material Design" principles. Material Design has been adopted rather quickly by Android developers ever since Lollipop came out, especially compared to the previous "Holo" design guidelines.

Matias Duarte, who is Google's Vice President of Design, stated at Google I/O this year that over 40 percent of new apps use material design and over 200,000 apps have already adopted it in less than a year. He also said that the Material Design guidelines site has been visited over 2.5 million times so far, which isn't bad for a design resource.

The new BBM app also includes a new way to organize stickers and a new "quote message" feature to reference other people's messages in conversations. On iOS, the font is now based on the system font, which Blackberry believes users will appreciate.

The new BBM with Private Chat can be downloaded from both the Play Store and the Apple App Store now.

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  • poochiepiano
    Good thing nobody can aim a camera at a phone screen showing them opening up a conversation and record a video of them opening a conversation with that person. Inconvenient, sure, but if someone wanted to be a snitch, it's a pretty small obstacle. Unless I missed something and you can't see the names in a list of conversations, but that sounds all sorts of confusing.
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Good thing nobody can aim a camera at a phone screen showing them opening up a conversation and record a video of them opening a conversation with that person. Inconvenient, sure, but if someone wanted to be a snitch, it's a pretty small obstacle. Unless I missed something and you can't see the names in a list of conversations, but that sounds all sorts of confusing.

    No, you're right. I'd love to see a video from a phone recording someone else taking a video with a phone of a phone hehe...
    Reply
  • rdc85
    16130182 said:
    .... Inconvenient, sure, but if someone wanted to be a snitch, it's a pretty small obstacle....

    Quite true... Where there is a will there is a ways...
    Reply