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US Army wants to give soldiers a choice of Apple iPhone or Android phone

post #1 of 73
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The U.S. Army is interested in giving each of its soldiers a smartphone, and may give them a choice between Apple's iPhone or one running Google Android.

As reported this week by ArmyTimes, the Army is considering making a smartphone a standard piece of equipment in a soldier's bag. Based on the proposal, the Army would even pay the soldier's monthly phone bill.

Army-issued phones are already used in a variety of fashions through the Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications program. But the next step, reportedly already in testing, is to deploy smartphones in war zones.

The Army's interest in technology isn't limited to Apple's iPhone either. Mike McCarthy, director of the mission command complex of Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss, said the organization is also looking at ways to potentially implement Apple's iPad, the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader, or even mini-projectors.

The idea is to make it easier for soldiers to access data and receive updates on the go, no matter where they are. Devices like the iPhone are powerful and portable enough that the Army believes they will fit the bill for soldiers.

"At war, smart phones would let soldiers view real-time intelligence and video from unmanned systems overhead, and track friends and enemies on a dynamic map..." the report reads. "But the Army must first work through the complex task of securing the data and the network before it sanctions smart phones on the battlefield."

The plan, called "far from definitive," will fit commercial phones like the iPhone into special antenna sleeves, allowing them to link to the Army's network via a "patchwork of ground stations and airborne nodes." It was said that the program has support from some of the Army's highest ranking officials, including Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli.

Army officials visited Apple's campus in Cupertino, Calif., earlier this year to discuss the company's forthcoming products. The organization has shown interest for some time in embracing Apple's products, with officials in May noting that the "it just works" philosophy of the company caught the Army's eye.

In 2008, it was revealed that the military had employed custom iPods for on-the-spot translating in Iraq. The new method offered soldiers the ability to translate with technology a fraction of the size and cost of the previously utilized technology.

The Army has also used Macs in its IT infrastructure to deter potential hacking attempts, and in 2009 implemented Apple hardware for video surveillance installations. The Mac hardware was selected, officials said, for security purposes.
post #2 of 73
iBombs.

Only one tonnage rating, but they bust bunkers better and hit targets more accurately than anyone else's.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 73
You would think the US Army would be interested in the security the iPhone offers over android.
post #4 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

You would think the US Army would be interested in the security the iPhone offers over android.

Maybe, but 'Android Army' sounds meaner.
post #5 of 73
This would be an excellent move. Technology such as this would have been amazing when I served and that was only 7 years ago.
post #6 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

Maybe, but 'Android Army' sounds meaner.


That does sound mean, but the fanatical Apple Army already exists
post #7 of 73
Most Popular App: WikiLeaks (Battlefield Edition)
post #8 of 73
This matches up very well with the (rumored) release of the Verizon iPhone.
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post #9 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Most Popular App: WikiLeaks (Battlefield Edition)

WikiLeaks was my first thought as well. The current Find My Phone can brick a phone remotely, but what if a phone is lost or captured with its owner who knows the passwords before any of his colleagues find out? Security has a lot of ramifications that no doubt the military would have to work through.

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post #10 of 73
There are a few Army agencies are already using iPhones for a while now since Apple added Exhange support for the iPhone.. Still the DoD is a Blackberry orgranization.
post #11 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post

This won't fare well for those hiding under the "Don't ask, don't tell" their iPhone choice will give them away.

Can we please ban all the 12-year-olds from the message board, please? Comments like these are unwarranted, immature, and most importantly, add nothing to the conversation.

MarkJones, meet my ignore list in 3... 2... 1....
post #12 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post

This won't fare well for those hiding under the "Don't ask, don't tell" their iPhone choice will give them away.


I'm afraid too many soldiers will fear being painted a pot smoking, liberal, hippy, socialist, communist, queer to chose a iPhone over a Android phone.

I hope your post was a poor joke. If not then you need to seek help.
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post #13 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

You would think the US Army would be interested in the security the iPhone offers over android.

Yeah, for institutional purchases of any kind the iPhone will always have the edge over Android.

It's not only more secure, it conforms to the requirements for handicapped soldiers, comes in more languages and allows the purchaser to fill in a lot more tick-boxes on the long list of criteria required by institutions.

What are you gonna do with an Android phone if you can't see the screen cause you have been blinded by dust or smoke ordinance?
post #14 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post

... *edited out* ...

So what you're saying is that we need a third phone to add to the mix so that the childish, immature folks like yourself can be represented?
post #15 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

What are you gonna do with an Android phone if you can't see the screen cause you have been blinded by dust or smoke ordinance?

Speak to it using the headset the soldier's already wearing? I don't think it would be too far-fetched to be able to tie in their headset somehow. From what I can tell, the speech recognition software is fairly accurate.
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post #16 of 73
BTW since when is the army about choice?

Wouldn't it be a lot cooler for the commander to say: here is your issued apple iPhone 4 with a camo bumper.
post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Army's interest in technology isn't limited to Apple's iPhone either.

Ha, yeah, I sure hope not.
post #18 of 73
The fact that Blackberry isn't even listed shows just how far RIM has fallen. Three years ago I'm sure blackberry would have been the only device in contention thanks to their security features.

But I agree with others here -- the iPhone is now best suited to this job. Android both lacks security and ease of use.
post #19 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

Speak to it using the headset the soldier's already wearing? I don't think it would be too far-fetched to be able to tie in their headset somehow. From what I can tell, the speech recognition software is fairly accurate.

My point was that handicapped societies and governments around the world have specific requirements that are documented in great detail and somewhat inflexible. The government or institutional buyer is looking for various certifications and so forth. Tick-boxes, that have to be checked off for the purchase to go through.

While Android devices may, through some combination of programs and so forth, provide similar abilities, it isn't certain that they can and they are not, in general certified in that way. iPhone on the other hand passes all those certifications and was designed to do so years before it was even released. Apple thought ahead and made the iPhone the best, fully certified phone for the blind for example. I'm sure some blind people may get by with an Android phone, but the iPhone is an easier and more conforming choice.
post #20 of 73
Now the leaks could come directly from the field and in real-time :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

WikiLeaks was my first thought as well. The current Find My Phone can brick a phone remotely, but what if a phone is lost or captured with its owner who knows the passwords before any of his colleagues find out? Security has a lot of ramifications that no doubt the military would have to work through.
post #21 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

BTW since when is the army about choice?

Wouldn't it be a lot cooler for the commander to say: here is your issued apple iPhone 4 with a camo bumper.

+1

Why would the army even allow troops to carry such an insecure product as the Android? Download the wrong app and the enemy could know where that soldier was!
post #22 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post

Wahhh! And I'm reporting you too, for being a crybaby.

What is true, from my experience in the military, unlike some cowards around here it seems, that the military tend to choose a rough image, they are supposed to be bad-asses after all.

And the iPhone seems so feminine, not trolling, it's true.

Thus it's likely that not many soldiers (males ones) will choose it over a Android phone.

Also the Android phone will allow certain, say OS alterations, that Apple won't allow due to their closed nature.

It's the 21st century, you chest-thumping troglodyte. Femininity and homosexuality do not automatically go hand-in-hand. And while stereotyped as such, the feminine gay male is far from an accurate depiction of your typical gay male--at least, in my experience.

Most gay guys I know are infinitely more athletic and capable of beating the hell out of someone than a straight guy in their age bracket. Just saying.

Meanwhile, back on topic, both OSes have their advantages. iPhone's is security, as others have pointed out; coupled with the ability to interface with the device via the proprietary port (is that what it's called, a port?) and you have some interesting possibilities. But the voice commands and systemwide malleability of Android is hard to deny.

Just hope the army realizes they'll need two developer teams now, rather than one. -_-

I need to join the army so I can collect all your tax dollars in the form of gizmos.
post #23 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post

Wahhh! And I'm reporting you too, for being a crybaby and insulting my writing skills in the other thread where you started your problem and now pretending to take insult here too.

Back on topic...

What is true, from my experience in the military, unlike some cowards around here it seems, that the military tend to choose a rough image, they are supposed to be bad-asses after all.

And the iPhone seems so feminine, not trolling, it's true.

Thus it's likely that not many soldiers (males ones) will choose it over a Android phone.

Also the Android phone will allow certain, say OS alterations, that Apple won't allow due to their closed nature.

The recent poll was really a bunch of crap, you can take what you want from it but any man who is enticed by the "terminator"type advertising and needs the "manly" phone probably has other self esteem problems requiring help. When the shit hits the fan and bullets are flying by my head I want a phone that I can count on. Frankly, that's the iPhone.
post #24 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrilegend View Post

It's the 21st century, you chest-thumping troglodyte.

Partial quote.

Excellent summing up here

Seems the trog's posts have been removed.
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post #25 of 73
It'd be cool if Apple could come up with a DoD model iPhone that had specific features for the military. Ruggedized, non-reflective glass to avoid soldier's position being given away, etc. At the very least a special military case would be needed for existing phone with water and dust-proof port covers. Pixel camo would be nice.
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post #26 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

My point was that handicapped societies and governments around the world have specific requirements that are documented in great detail and somewhat inflexible. The government or institutional buyer is looking for various certifications and so forth. Tick-boxes, that have to be checked off for the purchase to go through.

While Android devices may, through some combination of programs and so forth, provide similar abilities, it isn't certain that they can and they are not, in general certified in that way. iPhone on the other hand passes all those certifications and was designed to do so years before it was even released. Apple thought ahead and made the iPhone the best, fully certified phone for the blind for example. I'm sure some blind people may get by with an Android phone, but the iPhone is an easier and more conforming choice.

Just answering your question.

I know of the VoiceOver software for iOS and OS X. I'm curious to what these disability certifications are that the iPhone has passed.
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post #27 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

You would think the US Army would be interested in the security the iPhone offers over android.


Military Security?! That ship has sailed!!!

Wasn't it a military serviceman that provided Wikileaks with all the documentation, iPhone not included, of the State Dept. and others, that Wikileaks has been releasing in dribs and drabs to claim their 15 minutes of fame and might be on the next release of a Jib-Jab song.

Just saying there appears to be a lot of bureaucratic holes regarding operating procedures, that a phone, while nice, will not cure.

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post #28 of 73
I honestly can't see the ARMY giving soldiers one of the most un-secure devices available. Oh wait yes I can
post #29 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

It'd be cool if Apple could come up with a DoD model iPhone that had specific features for the military. Ruggedized, non-reflective glass to avoid soldier's position being given away, etc. At the very least a special military case would be needed for existing phone with water and dust-proof port covers. Pixel camo would be nice.

Good idea and such a version would be good for outdoor activities such as hiking, boating etc. (and those image challenged males ).
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post #30 of 73
So that is what the 120 Billion dollar loan from China in the new tax bill is going to buy us.
post #31 of 73
Am I the only one who thinks this is a terrible idea? (Don't answer, rhetorical question.)

I do NOT want my taxpayer dollars going to giving every kid in uniform a government subsidized tool for playing Angry Birds and checking his facebook account while he's supposed to be manning his post.

Not that there isn't a place for some of this technology in the battlefield, or in daily ops, there is; but only on dedicated locked-down hardware (that could be a iPhone with a locked down UI and other mods as mentioned by a previous poster). Not a fully open civilian smartphone with a subsidized calling plan.

Oh well, I guess we can just shovel a few more billion dollars on the national debt for something people feel entitled to that's only been around for ten seconds.

</rant>
post #32 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

So what you're saying is that we need a third phone to add to the mix so that the childish, immature folks like yourself can be represented?

Mark needs to keep inflating his size, seriously doubt he's packing the requirements needed to sack up and join the army... besides he got a free Poodle os phone with his cell plan, now he's too busy with the mental gymnastics of defending his 'purchase'. smokey:
post #33 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

Am I the only one who thinks this is a terrible idea? (Don't answer, rhetorical question.)

I do NOT want my taxpayer dollars going to giving every kid in uniform a government subsidized tool for playing Angry Birds and checking his facebook account while he's supposed to be manning his post.

Not that there isn't a place for some of this technology in the battlefield, or in daily ops, there is; but only on dedicated locked-down hardware (that could be a iPhone with a locked down UI and other mods as mentioned by a previous poster). Not a fully open civilian smartphone with a subsidized calling plan.

Oh well, I guess we can just shovel a few more billion dollars on the national debt for something people feel entitled to that's only been around for ten seconds.

</rant>

I can't totally disagree especially the 'while on duty' comment. Look at the issue with train drivers but it is nothing to do with iPhones or whatever rather as you say, what is used, when and what for. Meanwhile along the same lines, the fact that Windows is allowed to be used in anything related to defense (or anything related to any essential infrastructure for that matter) makes me shudder.
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post #34 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

Am I the only one who thinks this is a terrible idea? (Don't answer, rhetorical question.)

I do NOT want my taxpayer dollars going to giving every kid in uniform a government subsidized tool for playing Angry Birds and checking his facebook account while he's supposed to be manning his post.

Not that there isn't a place for some of this technology in the battlefield, or in daily ops, there is; but only on dedicated locked-down hardware (that could be a iPhone with a locked down UI and other mods as mentioned by a previous poster). Not a fully open civilian smartphone with a subsidized calling plan.

Oh well, I guess we can just shovel a few more billion dollars on the national debt for something people feel entitled to that's only been around for ten seconds.

</rant>

Entitled? If they are in the army, they are working for that pay. 'Entitled' applies only to those who don't do anything in return for a particular service.

Who cares if they can play Angry Birds on the same device that they can do their actual work on too? You might want to familiarize yourself with the type of work our soldiers do with computers these days before you expose your ignorance further.
post #35 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxygenhose View Post

Entitled? If they are in the army, they are working for that pay. 'Entitled' applies only to those who don't do anything in return for a particular service.

Who cares if they can play Angry Birds on the same device that they can do their actual work on too? You might want to familiarize yourself with the type of work our soldiers do with computers these days before you expose your ignorance further.

redacted
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post #36 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

Am I the only one who thinks this is a terrible idea? (Don't answer, rhetorical question.)

I do NOT want my taxpayer dollars going to giving every kid in uniform a government subsidized tool for playing Angry Birds and checking his facebook account while he's supposed to be manning his post.

Not that there isn't a place for some of this technology in the battlefield, or in daily ops, there is; but only on dedicated locked-down hardware (that could be a iPhone with a locked down UI and other mods as mentioned by a previous poster). Not a fully open civilian smartphone with a subsidized calling plan.

Oh well, I guess we can just shovel a few more billion dollars on the national debt for something people feel entitled to that's only been around for ten seconds.

</rant>

Your right, because these "kids" are only willing to give their lives for this country. Why on earth would be give them a smartphone.
post #37 of 73
This is my iPhone;
That is my gun.
This one's for shooting,
The other's for fun!
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post #38 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post

Your right, because these "kids" are only willing to give their lives for this country. Why on earth would be give them a smartphone.

Exactly.

Last I checked, the draft wasn't in effect. Joining the military and defending the US are still voluntary and willful acts, and nowhere in the contract they knowingly sign does it say "thou shalt have the technological ability to converse with your baby-mama and play farmville at all times".

Also, it's "You're" not "Your", and "we" not "be", and "?" not ".".
post #39 of 73
I would rather have all students in America be equipped with MacBooks, but living in a pipe dream means a destiny of disappointment.
post #40 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

Exactly.

Last I checked, the draft wasn't in effect. Joining the military and defending the US are still a voluntary and willful act, and nowhere in the contract they knowingly sign does it say "thou shalt have the technological ability to converse with your baby-mama and play farmville at all times".

Perhaps we should not issue them rifles. I don't remember anything in the contract about that either.
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