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BlackBerry wants to shield your screens from prying eyes with Privacy Shade

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Why it matters to you

You don't want people reading off your phone from over your shoulder. Stop them with the new Privacy Shade from BlackBerry.

It may no longer be manufacturing its own devices, but BlackBerry would like to remind us all that it’s still here, and still relevant. In a blog post published last Friday, the smartphone maker turned software company announced the delivery of a new app called Privacy Shade that promises to “let you read emails, messages, and personal content at any time without worrying about snoopers, even if someone is looking over your shoulder.”

The release comes hot off the heels of two new BlackBerry phones — there’s the KEYOne from TCL that made its debut at Mobile World Congress, and the BlackBerry Aurora from BB Merah Putih that just came out for Indonesian users. And now, all BlackBerry owners can  rest assured that their private information will stay private.

MoreLatest BlackBerry device comes from Indonesia, and is named the Aurora

With Privacy Shade, BlackBerry users will be able to adjust the transparency of their screen filter to suit their surroundings. They can also obscure parts of the screen they’re not actively viewing or using, so most of the display appears dark and inscrutable to prying eyes. If you’re running a device with Android OS 7.0 Nougat or higher, you’ll be able to add BlackBerry Privacy Shade to your Quick Settings, and if you’ve a BlackBerry with a Convenience Key, you can assign the Privacy Shade to said key.

Similarly, should your device support Swipe Shortcuts, you can make the Privacy Shade one of your shortcuts, and regardless of what kind of device you may have, you can toggle BlackBerry Privacy Shade on or off via an optional dedicated notification in the notification tray.

Installing the app is simple — you need only to search Google Play for the app, or use this link to open up Privacy Shade directly.

BlackBerry has also rolled out a few other updates, like auto-enabling CC or BCC settings when sending an email, and additional Hub integrations like support for Kik and Telegram. For a full list of updates, check out BlackBerry’s blog post here.