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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    iBombs.



    Only one tonnage rating, but they bust bunkers better and hit targets more accurately than anyone else's.
  • Reply 2 of 76
    You would think the US Army would be interested in the security the iPhone offers over android.
  • Reply 3 of 76
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 76
    This would be an excellent move. Technology such as this would have been amazing when I served and that was only 7 years ago.
  • Reply 5 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rain View Post


    Maybe, but 'Android Army' sounds meaner.





    That does sound mean, but the fanatical Apple Army already exists
  • Reply 6 of 76
    Most Popular App: WikiLeaks (Battlefield Edition)
  • Reply 7 of 76
    This matches up very well with the (rumored) release of the Verizon iPhone.
  • Reply 8 of 76
    edit: no, I don't think so.
  • Reply 9 of 76
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 76
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 76
    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....
  • Reply 12 of 76
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 76
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 76
    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.



    Thank god a Windows phone isn't a choice.



    I find this really offensive and am reporting it as such.
  • Reply 15 of 76
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,945member
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 76
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 76
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 76
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 76
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,652member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I hope your post was a poor joke. If not then you need to seek help.



    It was a joke, that's why I winked.



    JESUS! EVERYONE JUST LIGHTEN UP!!!



    But with the poll showing more men prefer Android and more women prefer the iPhone, and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law in legal limbo, the Army might be attempting to profile undercover gay men by their phone choice.



    Reasonable to assume right? RIGHT!!!





    Jesus, what babies.
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