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Army rolls out proprietary app marketplace

post #1 of 47
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The U.S. Army on Friday launched a custom mobile app marketplace to deliver handset and tablet applications through the web to military personnel who have access to iOS devices.

The Army Software Marketplace prototype currently features 12 mobile training applications, available (iOS devices required) for download on iOS devices only, that are the direct result of the Connecting Soldiers to Digital Apps (CSDA) initiative.

Army CSDA Director Brig. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr. said that the marketplace is an information delivery tool designed to distribute training material to soldiers at "the point of learning."

When the marketplace leaves the prototype phase and becomes a fully-functioning product, it will be able to deliver web-based downloadable apps that can be used in the Army's Common Operating Environment on the Army network.

"This prototype is a first step in establishing and exercising new submission and approval processes that will eventually enable Army members, organizations and third-party developers to release applications for Army-wide distribution," said Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, Army Chief Information Officer/G-6.


Screenshot of the Army Software Marketplace. | Source: Army.mil


At present, the marketplace only offers web-based iOS apps, though Android support is expected in the near future. No mention was made as to the development of apps native to iOS or any other mobile platform.

Examples of apps available now include the Soldiers Blue Book, Army Values and the Army Social Media Handbook.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 47
It sounds like the army is using the iOS device like a Kindle reader. WTF?
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

It sounds like the army is using the iOS device like a Kindle reader. WTF?

Don't underestimate the US Army... In the mid 1980s they installed the most advanced 68000-based LAN workstations available -- for Officer Training...

In the US military, the Army leads the way...
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post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

It sounds like the army is using the iOS device like a Kindle reader. WTF?

And you know this why?
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by libdem View Post

And you know this why?

I read the frickin' story.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Don't underestimate the US Army... In the mid 1980s they installed the most advanced 68000-based LAN workstations available -- for Officer Training...

I'm not an army guy by any means... but two things the U.S. army doesn't lack: money and talent. And that's as it should be. If the army is finding uses for iOS, I think that's awesome. If only the space program were as well funded.
post #7 of 47
A connected Army via it's own app store is a win-win situation. More jobs for American developers, a better trained military, enhanced recruiting for the cyberwar, validation of the superiority of Apple's products and ecosystem and expansion of Apple's capital investment stateside.

Without the military we'd all be speaking German and their likely would be no Apple. A good deal for Apple and the military is a win-win situation for America.
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

Apple is letting the army have it's own app store. However, any country the U.S. invades will have a government put in place where only Apple products are to be used and 30% of the GDP will be sent to Apple.

That's wicked, but funny....
+5

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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

Apple is letting the army have it's own app store.

If these are web-based downloadable apps as in web apps, Apple doesn't restrict where they are hosted as they are effectively just web pages that can be used offline (HTML + Javascript).
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If these are web-based downloadable apps as in web apps, Apple doesn't restrict where they are hosted as they are effectively just web pages that can be used offline (HTML + Javascript).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

It sounds like the army is using the iOS device like a Kindle reader. WTF?

The enterprise distribution model allows an enterprise to distribute native iOS apps. That is what you see here.
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post #11 of 47
Are these NATIVE APPS? Or HTML5?
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

The enterprise distribution model allows an enterprise to distribute native iOS apps. That is what you see here.

Exactly and for more information, Apple has a very easy to follow instruction guide - see:

http://www.apple.com/business/accele...tribution.html

I guess because the US Army followed the guide that Apple provided for business app development, the pundits are going to bloviate that Apple must have done something special for them.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

I read the frickin' story.

That's the problem. Perhaps you should contact someone in the Enterprise Group working on the iOS deployments in the US Military before make an informed comment.
post #14 of 47
Marketplace? That's not quite an appropriate term in this instance?
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Marketplace? That's not quite an appropriate term in this instance?

Marketplace-gate.....
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post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post


Without the military we'd all be speaking German and their likely would be no Apple. A good deal for Apple and the military is a win-win situation for America.

Without Stalin, we would have lost. By your logic, without Stalin, there would be no Apple. Of course, without Red China, there would be no Apple as we know it either. I guess Apple owes a huge debt of gratitude to the commies.

Just saying.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Without Stalin, we would have lost. By your logic, without Stalin, there would be no Apple. Of course, without Red China, there would be no Apple as we know it either. I guess Apple owes a huge debt of gratitude to the commies.

Just saying.

Yeah, my reading of the WWII is that without the US military we would all be speaking Russian, not German, at least here in Europe.


It's legal to make employees pay for enterprise apps, it breaks no apple rules, although very few do so I would imagine. Market place is a valid terminology.
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post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

Apple is letting the army have it's own app store. However, any country the U.S. invades will have a government put in place where only Apple products are to be used and 30% of the GDP will be sent to Apple.

You just had to make a political statement and turn this thread into a pile of crap, didn't you. And then Slither Slather starts in with his "I'm smarter and more sophisticated than you" putdowns. Sheesh.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Don't underestimate the US Army... In the mid 1980s they installed the most advanced 68000-based LAN workstations available -- for Officer Training...

In the US military, the Army leads the way...

That would be the Marines that lead the way. The army gets the new toys but the Marines go in first and get things done.
post #20 of 47
are these app's for "your eyes only"... do they contain sensitive information?... why dont they sell them on the app store?...

so these apps are running on custom phones?... hence the not-for-public-consumption...

if they sold them they might be able to pay off the debt that the army/navy/air force/marines incurs /SARCASM
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post

Without the military we'd all be speaking German and their likely would be no Apple. A good deal for Apple and the military is a win-win situation for America.

As if Nazi Germany ever wanted or had the means to invade the Americas and occupy the whole world, of course...people should read more instead of repeating the same myths over and over again.

But as someone else already mentioned, you should actually be thanking Stalin and speaking Russian by now - without them German would definitely be Europe's official language today.

Oops, de facto it already is anyway...hail Frau Merkel!
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post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

As if Nazi Germany ever wanted or had the means to invade the Americas and occupy the whole world, of course...people should read more instead of repeating the same myths over and over again.

But as someone else already mentioned, you should actually be thanking Stalin and speaking Russian by now - without them German would definitely be Europe's official language today.

Oops, de facto it already is anyway...hail Frau Merkel!

It is very difficult to play 'what if' games with history. No one knows what would have happened. Read Stephen King's latest book (11/22/63) for a fictional account - which actually probably isn't far from the truth.
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post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

It's legal to make employees pay for enterprise apps, it breaks no apple rules, although very few do so I would imagine. Market place is a valid terminology.

Perhaps the App Commissary.

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post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

That's the problem. Perhaps you should contact someone in the Enterprise Group working on the iOS deployments in the US Military before make an informed comment.

I think he was picking up on the only 'web based so far' part, as in not seemingly actual iOS apps and referred to that as 'using it like a Kindle'. To be honest that was my first reaction the article, good news at first but if they are only so far using web apps, which I understand to be simply modified Safari interfaces to a preset web page, it seems they could do more, i.e. create custom apps. I may too be miss reading this article since everyone else jumped on Macky the Macky.
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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

It is very difficult to play 'what if' games with history. No one knows what would have happened. Read Stephen King's latest book (11/22/63) for a fictional account - which actually probably isn't far from the truth.

Off topic ...
Oh thanks for tip, I love those 'what if' History books and didn't know Stephen King had written one, must have missed that somehow. I loved reading Ausi writer Birmingham's trilogy recently.
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post #26 of 47
Makes you wonder what they are planning with that last app.

Chinese Mandarin Civil Affairs Phrasebook ??

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post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

At present, the marketplace only offers web-based iOS apps, though Android support is expected in the near future.

After looking more closely at that screen shot, all but one of those apps says they are for Android. The top one says Mobile Web and none mention iOS at all.

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post #28 of 47
BLUF - Bottom-line upfront. This is old news, there are Android apps available also, and the apps suck by iOS developer standards. Too bad. And also too bad is the fact that this is all AI could apparently find to post as "news".
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post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

It sounds like the army is using the iOS device like a Kindle reader. WTF?

As one of the Army's developers, I can address some of this. There are indeed several groups throughout the country that are developing apps, each with different focuses. Some are indeed simply looking at putting manuals in digital form, that is little more than an interactive ePub - with the purpose of saving a whole lot of money in printing costs and also turning a 10 pound manual that a soldier would need to lug around into a phone app.

There are other groups, though, like mine - that are focusing on higher end stuff. Things like 3D trainers for how to properly clean a weapon, or how to properly clear a building without endangering fellow soldiers or hostages, or how to properly zero a weapon. We're also working at creating apps that eliminate the use of paper forms and centralize things like soldier records and weapon/vehicle maintenance in a system that is accessible via a phone.

In the end, the whole goal of this is three-fold: save money on printing costs, save 10-15 minutes in every soldier's day by making things more efficient, and make training something that can happen anywhere and perhaps even be fun and engaging in the process.

On another note - this market place will eventually be a joint-Android/Apple marketplace, they just focused on the Apple end first.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

Apple is letting the army have it's own app store. However, any country the U.S. invades will have a government put in place where only Apple products are to be used and 30% of the GDP will be sent to Apple.

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryllium View Post

As one of the Army's developers, I can address some of this. There are indeed several groups throughout the country that are developing apps, each with different focuses. Some are indeed simply looking at putting manuals in digital form, that is little more than an interactive ePub - with the purpose of saving a whole lot of money in printing costs and also turning a 10 pound manual that a soldier would need to lug around into a phone app.

There are other groups, though, like mine - that are focusing on higher end stuff. Things like 3D trainers for how to properly clean a weapon, or how to properly clear a building without endangering fellow soldiers or hostages, or how to properly zero a weapon. We're also working at creating apps that eliminate the use of paper forms and centralize things like soldier records and weapon/vehicle maintenance in a system that is accessible via a phone.

In the end, the whole goal of this is three-fold: save money on printing costs, save 10-15 minutes in every soldier's day by making things more efficient, and make training something that can happen anywhere and perhaps even be fun and engaging in the process.

On another note - this market place will eventually be a joint-Android/Apple marketplace, they just focused on the Apple end first.

Nice. Sounds like a terrific project. Good luck with making it happen.
post #32 of 47
Aren't those all listed as Android?
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

That would be the Marines that lead the way. The army gets the new toys but the Marines go in first and get things done.

The Navy is a taxi service then.
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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwal View Post

Aren't those all listed as Android?

It would probably easier to create an Android Marketplace with native apps as Google doesn't have restrictions against such things. The US Army has already chosen Android as their platform of choice for tablets and phones in the field. The Apple app site is probably for people who have personal iPhones.
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post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

It would probably easier to create an Android Marketplace with native apps as Google doesn't have restrictions against such things. The US Army has already chosen Android as their platform of choice for tablets and phones. The Apple app site is probably for people who have personal iPhones.

Read the thread

1) there are no restrictions, it's an enterprise distribution
2) it's for iOS first
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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Read the thread

1) there are no restrictions, it's an enterprise distribution
2) it's for iOS first

Yes I have, and the apps are HTML based not compiled which must be downloaded threw Apple. I was just saying that Google doesn't have such restrictions for compiled apps. A private firm can have there own app store, with prior approval probably. I'm sure Apple would allow the military to have their own marketplace if and when it's needed but as of right now the Army has been choosing Android as their chosen platform for a lot of their projects, mostly do to MITRE making the decision. I'm sure will see Apple and Microsoft phones being used as well but defiantly not in the field. It's most likely going to be an Android device as Apple doesn't make MIL spec phones or tablets. Nor do they allow other company's to make MIL spec devices based on iOS.

That would be cool though, I would love to get my hands on a iPad that has a MIL rating. I've always had a thing for ruggedized machines. I had a Toughbook 18 a few years back but I gave it to a friend when she volunteered for Doctors Without Borders as a nurse and she didn't bring it back.
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post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

That would be the Marines that lead the way. The army gets the new toys but the Marines go in first and get things done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

The Navy is a taxi service then.

You'll gotta know that there will be a SeaBee on the beach directing the Navy where to dump the Marines.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

You'll gotta know that there will be a SeaBee on the beach directing the Navy where to dump the Marines.

SeaBee, construction workers of the military. Need a airport built in a day, call the SeaBees, need a dozen latrines built by sunset, call the SeaBees.
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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

You'll gotta know that there will be a SeaBee on the beach directing the Navy where to dump the Marines.

Which branch gets the best toys? The Air Force gets to play with space toys and stealth bombers, the Navy has those really cool submarines and Dolphins, The Army has big tanks and those really neat MRAP trucks, The Marines have Harrier's and Cobra's, Coast Guard has Dolphin helicopters and new high tech Cutters, so who has the best toys?
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post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryllium View Post

As one of the Army's developers, I can address some of this. There are indeed several groups throughout the country that are developing apps, each with different focuses. Some are indeed simply looking at putting manuals in digital form, that is little more than an interactive ePub - with the purpose of saving a whole lot of money in printing costs and also turning a 10 pound manual that a soldier would need to lug around into a phone app.

There are other groups, though, like mine - that are focusing on higher end stuff. Things like 3D trainers for how to properly clean a weapon, or how to properly clear a building without endangering fellow soldiers or hostages, or how to properly zero a weapon. We're also working at creating apps that eliminate the use of paper forms and centralize things like soldier records and weapon/vehicle maintenance in a system that is accessible via a phone.

In the end, the whole goal of this is three-fold: save money on printing costs, save 10-15 minutes in every soldier's day by making things more efficient, and make training something that can happen anywhere and perhaps even be fun and engaging in the process.

On another note - this market place will eventually be a joint-Android/Apple marketplace, they just focused on the Apple end first.

Sounds brilliant! Hope you put together something great.
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