US President Donald Trump recently turned in his personal smartphone for a secure device with limited features, as reported by the Associated Press (AP). While the new device certainly improves security for the new president, it could impact his frequent use of the social media site Twitter.
If the device received by Trump is similar to the latest model that was used by former US President Barack Obama, the phone will be devoid of many popular features, and could be an inefficient tool for tweeting. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Obama likened the device he used to a play phone given to a toddler.
However, as noted by ZDNet's Zack Whittaker, another AP report claimed that Obama had "a phone in his control that he used to tweet." So, Trump could simply be facing a learning curve for a new device.
A New York Times report of the exchange stated that Trump swapped his "Android phone for a secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service with a new number that few people possess." The latter part of that is important, as many members of the press were known to have Trump's previous number, and he would personally field calls related to potential business deals in the past.
Another transition for the Twitter-loving president will be the availability of the official @POTUS Twitter handle. That handle is available to the sitting US president, while Obama's tweets and content have been moved to the @POTUS44 account.
While the official handle is now at his disposal, it's not likely that Trump will take it over. Instead, Trump has alluded to the idea that he will continue to maintain, and tweet from his current handle, @realDonaldTrump. Instead, the official handle may be used by other various members of the administration.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- US President Donald Trump has officially traded in his Android phone for a secure device with a new phone number.
- With limited features, the new device could change the way Trump tweets and personally fields other communications.
- Trump has also been given the official @POTUS Twitter handle, but he'll likely continue to use his personal account.
- A data visualization of Trump trends on social media (TechRepublic)
- For national security, Trump gets a new secure "smartphone" (ZDNet)
- Trump taps Rudy Giuliani to help with cybersecurity efforts (TechRepublic)
- Xero chairman resigns to assist Trump in the US (ZDNet)
- The future of AI in the US: What it could look like in the Trump Administration (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.