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Here's how President Trump's iPhone is very different than yours


Here's how President Trump's iPhone is very different than yours

WATCH | You didn't actually think the "First Phone" would just be some run-of-the-mill iPhone, did you?

After Congress started asking questions about the security risks of President Donald Trump bringing his personal Android phone into the Oval Office, the Trump administration announced in late March that the POTUS had switched to a “secure iPhone.”

For security reasons, we don’t know a lot about Trump's new iPhone,  but experts agree that the "secure" part means it's probably not loaded with, say, an app that sends in missile strikes. No, in all actuality, it's probably even less capable than the iPhone in your pocket.

iPhone 6s shot

"Out of the box, devices have gotten more secure; that doesn't mean it's ready for the President," Ben Johnson, former NSA employee and co-founder of Carbon Black told Circa.

For instance, Trump's iPhone probably can't do regular calling and text-messaging, Johnson said. "Those are older networks, they are more open. There's a lot less control."

This would match up with President Obama's comments about the iPhone he got in the last year of his presidency; it didn’t have calling or texting, but it could send emails. Email is one of the simplest ways for a President to use a smartphone for communication since it can essentially operate end-to-end through a government network.

President Obama's Daughter Taught Him Snapchat

When it comes to apps, it isn’t expected that the Presidential iPhone has access to too many of the same ones your phone does.

So if you’re wondering how Donald Trump is tweeting from his secure iPhone, it may be the case that the government built a special, more secure version of the Twitter app for Trump to use.

President Obama said his iPhone could browse the web. Experts believe that connection on a presidential iPhone is best handled by filtering it through a secure proxy server, which probably slows download speeds.


Around the time his administration announced he had switched to a "secure iPhone," the "Twitter for iPhone" signature began showing on the posts that were unmistakably from the POTUS's fingers.

When you are using third-party apps then you are relying on the security that they have baked in.
Anupam Joshi, Computer Science Professor, UMBC
iPhone Music and Mail apps

President Obama said his iPhone wasn't even allowed to have music on it.

Even charging the Presidential iPhone isn’t as user-friendly as just plugging into the nearest power cable, Johnson said.

"Really anything that interacts with the phone, people have to have trust in that."

And that's really bottom line: Even though smartphones are more secure than ever, there's always going to be risk and trust involved. Which amounts to meaning a surprising un-perk to being the president is, apparently, a less capable iPhone. But, in all likelihood -- thank goodness -- one that can still tweet.

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