'Android freezes': Or, does the US Army really mull a switch from Samsung to the iPhone?


Now, here is a story for the fanboy ages. The U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) - you know, the one that is managing the smorgasbord of spec ops from Fort Bragg, NC, and the largest piece in the US Special Operations Command puzzle, is supposedly moving from Android to the iPhone 6s, as per one anonymous source who we already wrote about.

The reasoning? Well, Android freezes and has to be restarted, they say, while on the iPhone the graphics flow smoother. The insider that has tipped about this alleged iOS coup has used these exact words: "faster, smoother, Android freezes up.” Most of these freezes apparently occurred under heavy use of graphical rendering, like when using a split-screen view to show footage from the drone above the squad, and the designated route to follow at the same time.

The iPhone had allegedly passed this test with flying colors, while the Samsung phone that is in their current so-called Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAC), had problems refreshing, and often had to undergo a reboot to function properly, which ate up valuable time. So far, so good, but what exactly is that mysterious Samsung gear that locks up so badly under graphical pressure? 

Well, as you can see from this ATAC system promo video above from 2014, it might very well be none other that something like the ancient Galaxy Note II. That one obviously can hardly cope with modern drone footage stream and terrain rendering requirements, so seeing it all work fine on a 6s would seem as a revelation to the regular guy on the ground. Granted, the Juggernaut Cases that are featured here now have versions for models like the Galaxy S7 or Note 5 as well, but we doubt the Army has procured those yet, given that the promo clip is barely two years old.

Moreover, the military publication that got tipped the Android-to-iPhone story, reached out to the actual Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier department that is in charge with procurement decisions, and got a boilerplate "no response" answer on whether the US Army SOC is indeed mulling a switch from the ancient Samsungs in their ATACs, to the alleged iTACs with iPhone 6s, so the story hasn't gotten a second source or an official confirmation just yet. Furthermore, the drone footage and topography software seems to be made to run on Android, though we suppose it's a custom, more secure version, while Samsung has been chosen by the Army before precisely on account of its KNOX enterprise-grade security software that comes with its Galaxies. How would that translate to the eventual iTACs, remains yet to be confirmed.

In any case, even if the ATAC was unquestionably becoming an iTAC, given the pace of Army procurement and red tape, they might equip the iTACs with the 6s by the time the all-glass iPhone 8 is out, and run into similar problems when the amount of graphical data to crunch increases with time. The problematic split-screen footage in question that often freezes the handset in the current ATAC appears at 0:17 and 0:29 into the video above. Alternatively, the spec op folks might just want to score a newer, prettier phone that something like the Note II behemoth that is visible in the promo clip, and are planting these tips to make their voices heard, if you had to go all conspiracy over this. How about a Pip-Boy, what do you think about the whole ordeal?

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36 Comments

1. avatar unregistered

What if the it's a software bug? Anyway, I really don't care... Why 2 articles on this subject? I suggest you do a 3rd one to be sure that the readers understood well.

2. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3100; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

For click bait reasons.

16. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Yea, an unconfirmed rumor from an unknown source claims that the Army is switching from a 3+ year old Android phone to a 9 month old iPhone because "smoothness and speed". Sounds like it came straight out of an iFans mouth who probably lives in his mom's basement. The army isn't stupid enough to compare a 3+ year old phone to a barely year old one as if they don't know that the Note 5 and now 6/7 don't exist. Also, all this over split screen software? Can iPhones even do that natively? It's all just BS to try to prop up Apple share numbers because Army contracts are valuable. The white house just switched to Android and the iPhone doesn't even have DOJ approval but the Army is thinking of using it because of "smoothness".

14. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

The problem with this report is the iphome does not do split screen, where they was having problems with?

32. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Applications can do what they want, splitscreen is to run two apps. But if the app is designed with two windows in the app itself, the technically it is split screen....so doesn't really affect them, and considering the iphone already passed the test...it probably isn't true split screen but the app doing 2 things at once and probably for longer periods that cause the phone to 'freeze'.

29. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

calm down and read honest version of this article here:http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/07/19/us-army-special-forces-to-dump-galaxy-note-ii-for-iphone-6s-because-iphones-are-faster/ after 4years iPhone finally catch up to note 2.. congratulations..

3. yoghibawono

Posts: 240; Member since: May 04, 2016

omg! PA you are still sourcing from a lower rating, lower credibility news worthy site like 9to5Mac! It's funny you never sourcing from Arstechnica or alikes now they are more neutral. I always silent read your articles to compare with other.

9. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Well, Im glad our tax dollars are spent for someone to make the ground breaking decision that a 2+ year old phone performs worse than a flagship from 2016. Give yourself a pat on the back ol' boy. You're going places.

10. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Switch to a phone that's fragile as $#^%? Yeah, that's great for the military.

12. sissy246

Posts: 7070; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

They could all ways go with s6 or s7 active.

15. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

thats bs...teach them to use phones first

17. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

This!!! Is not news, but is not something new. We all know with eight cores and 3Gb ram, that sucker lags and stutters. As a civilian don't mind, but if my life depended on it, hell no.

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Let them switch. If you expect a 3 year old phone to continuously run that heavy software and never upgrade to a newer mor epower model, then you can expect issues. It just sounds like the guys just want an iPhone. If the gov't would stop wasting money on planes they could just get a newer Not. Have they tested this software on a newer Note? Probably not. And the iPhone doesn't have native split-screen capabilities. So how exactly did it "seamlessly" pass the test. Sounds like more of an ad than anything else. Le them switch. Doesn't bother me. Once one of the soldiers get captured and hat iPhone gets hacked and all the info stolen, then they will try to blame Apple for lax security protocols.

33. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

You honestly think they didn't test it on a new hardware?

34. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Given how slow large institutions like governments and militaries are to enact programss... Yeah, the "new" hardware they tested may very well have been old hardware by consumer standards.

19. waqas.mehmood2

Posts: 55; Member since: Nov 21, 2015

Iphone is phone for those people who wants their phone works when needed . Samsung phones lag freeze heats lots pf problems

22. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

So Iphones don't heat up? IPhones don't freeze up? IPhones don't lag? https://drfone.wondershare.com/iphone-problems/all-that-you-need-to-know-about-iphone-overheating.html http://bgr.com/2015/09/28/iphone-6s-overheating-camera-flash/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V6sd56hiN8 LAG https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viW-wAtUcn4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMVnYLGmDN0 Both videos are telling you how to reduce or get rid of lag on the iPhone 6S after iOS 9. Multi-tasking lag -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSKWDzzfnso Freezes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBI4iNRU5FY How to fix iPhone 6S unresponsive display -http://bgr.com/2015/10/07/frozen-iphone-6s-screen-fix/ Now as far as phones getting hot? Under heavy load you can expect it to get hot, because phones don't have active cooling...or a fan if you don't know what active cooling means. But the iPhone does less than most phones, and yet runs HOTTER. In this test, the iPhone 6 was hotter than the Note 4 -http://cdn01.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2000587739.jpeg Oh and you all remember chipgate? Where this test shows the iPhone 6S with Samsung's chip ran cooler under heavy load vs the TSMC chips. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/iphone-6s-a9-samsung-vs-tsmc,30306.html So you might wanna get YOUR FACTS straight. For an idiot to voice out BS that isn't even true, just makes you a troll.

30. YOURDADkid unregistered

Good Job brother!!

35. Droids-R-us

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 17, 2012

I think some ifan wants to see their favourite phone being used so they deliberately compared a dinosaur android (Now worth very little) to a current iphone costing a lot and said "look this is better" Try comparing an S6 to the galaxy S7 or LG G5 and see what happens then! Why choose a restricted and generally incompatible phone anyway? Android takes orders not gives them, isn't that better for an army?

36. Droids-R-us

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 17, 2012

Also worth pointing out that Android has been more stable than iOS and the battery can last longer depending on the handset, also rather essential in a battle situation wouldn't you say?

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