The U.S. Army chooses Android for their standard-issue smartphone

The U.S. Army chooses Android for their standard-issue smartphone
Since December, the U.S. Army has been officially developing a standard-issue smartphone for their soldiers. But there has been much debate about what operating system it would use, and whether it was really a practical tool to implement. The smartphone, as it does for consumers, would facilitate communication, navigation, translation, and more in the field. And it seems the Army has settled on Android for their OS of choice.

The 'Joint Battle Command-Platform', developed by MITRE, is the current device of choice. When the development kit is released in July, we expect it to become a very profitable new frontier for app development. Did you developers know that you might end up as DoD contractors?

But many are concerned about the security risks associated with using a popular smartphone operating system. They cite the risks which third party apps would pose, and the potential for even Army-purposed apps to embed malware throughout the Army's network of devices. While we normally look at rooting and jailbreaking as harmless circumventions, they could be life-threatening within the Army's network.

On a more practical note, they're still ironing out how to keep the device functional in low-signal environments. We're going to label this a work-in-progress, and assume it won't reach full implementation for quite some time.

source: Wired via Yahoo! News

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56 Comments

1. zuno gyakusatsu

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

Yea, give the troops the least secure and least stable OS out there. They would be safer with live grenades strapped to their chests. Whats gonna happen when they try to contact a fellow troop with an important message? "This program has stopped responding unexpectedly" FORCE CLOSE. That sounds like a sweet deal to me....not.

2. GetALife unregistered

you're an idiot! you obviously don't know anything about Android. "Whats gonna happen when they try to contact a fellow troop with an important message?" Well, unlike the iPhone the call will most likely connect! And stay connected!!! dumb asses like you that go around spreading this fud are lame. . . get a life, get a clue, and grow the hell up!

26. zuno gyakusatsu

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

dont have an aneurysm because i called your toy out for the junk that it is. go breathe some fresh air, get out of the basement and take out the trash like your mommy told to you do.

50. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

lol people talk about their experience.... you lack in knowing that having a grenade strapped to your chest can save your live just because when you use it to bomb some ass you will safe your own, just so you know... in order to trow it you must mave it now it seems you have quite an experience when it comes to basement life... and doing what mom says

11. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

The fact that android is so open it is actually much more secure than many OS's. Motorola will start putting on a their phones that will allow them to be even more secure than Blackberries. You should also note that since android is open it can be placed on many devices, if you didn't know an iPhone is pretty easy to break. The Army can develop a military grade phone making it less likely to break. You clearly have no clue what you are talking about, and just made a fool of yourself.

15. vantenkiest

Posts: 316; Member since: Apr 20, 2011

you made a fool of yourself too.. think about it if its open source then everyone knows what your using.. and if its connected to a data stream knowing what it uses can make it easier to track.. might give away army position and all. second for a lot of apps that are not yet optimized for the current android version on a device there are a lot of issues load times may get in the way multi tasking might get in the way there are a lot of possible force close situations.. I love android and it works for me. but I am not counting on it to keep up with the military and keep a tactical view on anything. So there are many reasons to worry about it.. as well as many reasons this is a great thing to try.. EVERYONE should at least be open and objective about this idea.

25. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

I was just about to watch a movie now i have to correct you. First if you knew what open source meant then you would know that almost everything on android can be modified so they can make it 100 times more secure. You can completely remove the GPS aspect of the OS... I have no idea why you would do this. I might be confused but you should know android can be made very, very secure you just won't have access to all the fart apps. Second we don't play a lot of games on our phones kid, so not many apps need to be compatible only the ones used by the US Army. I'm guessing the US Army use one phone and the apps they make for it will work fine since they probably only used on that device and can be used to work better on those devices (Not entirely true, of course I am just saying that the Army won't have a problem with the fragment problem). Load times and freezes happen a lot, my dads company uses a app for iOS and they have slow downs and things like that. Third you should know the US Army has some of the most intelligent people in the world, so you know what I am going to trust there judgment rather than yours. Maybe I misunderstood what you were talking about, but you are right that the US Army will have to do things to make android more secure, the reason Android was chosen was probably because the US Army can provide soldiers with a strong device that won't break also they can provide them with a easy to use UI. You should know the device won't be like your ordinary android device it will be a completely different experience. The reasons they picked android is really overwhelming

64. Gsmalltheway

Posts: 272; Member since: Aug 15, 2009

Seriously what is peoples deal about force closing?? never had an android phone have that problem and i have had every android phone tmobile has to offer as well as many unlocked ones so im guessing force close issue only effects a small minority of people

13. BobbyTaba

Posts: 316; Member since: Aug 11, 2010

Its a fucking phone OS that works fine. That is why it has more people than iOS. Calm your ass down.

21. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Actually iOS has 59% more users

40. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

very true

45. BobbyTaba

Posts: 316; Member since: Aug 11, 2010

actually android is on 20% of the worlds smartphones while iOS is on 17% of smartphones.

57. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

in america iOS still has a few more users.. world wide, android is #1

27. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

This shouldn't be an iOS vs android argument iOS isn't an option for the US Army, since the iPhone runs on one device and I would think Apple has no intentions on having to do a revised UI for the government, but I could be wrong.

51. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

highly agree with you

3. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Great choice. "least stable and secure" lol. I love how iFanboys keep bleating that talking point as if it actually holds water.

8. elandrumiii

Posts: 109; Member since: Mar 20, 2010

He never sad iOS was better or mentioned the iPhone. Feeling guilty or something. Since you jumped on the "bash the iPhone" road.And for good measure I am the proud owner of an HTC Evo. I dont care for the iPhone.

22. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

+1 Sniggly brings up the iPhone in every conversation and posts on every Apple article. He's completely obsessed with Apple. I think it has something to do with constantly losing sales to the iPhone. The force close comment was funny.

28. zuno gyakusatsu

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

i enjoy the fact that if you dont like android, you automatically default into the iphone catagory. shows their true ignorance. i never have and never will own an iphone, but i sure as hell would pick it over an unreliable android piece of crap.

59. QUEEN unregistered

Zuno, that's because if you're going to talk so much crap about an operating system that intimidates you so much, then you're obviously simple enough to probably be using an iPhone. That phone is strictly reserved for the mentally deficient.

32. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

And Taco, at least I can change up my language from time to time. How often do you repeat the phrase "crushing defeat" and try to tell me why I dislike iPhone? I'll explain it AGAIN, just because I'm patient with the mentally disabled. I've not once lost a sale to an iPhone. When I was working for Verizon I only had a few people coming in and asking for the iPhone, and even if they didn't buy anything that day, I always got them excited about Android instead. Now that I've worked with AT&T, we have the iPhone, but our store chain and I get paid so little compared to other phones, we don't push it. If someone really wants it, fine, they get it. But again, very many times I'm able to sell them on phones like the captivate or inspire, or if the alternative is a 3GS, a Bravo. Now will you finally stop your bullshit, Taco? Come up with new falsehoods to spread please. N

38. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Okay then answer the question of why you post on every Apple article and constantly bring up the iPhone even if it's not part of the discussion?

43. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Because Apple's a great target due to my genuine distaste for their business practices, and I like arguing on the Internet and making people like you who blindly defend Apple and attack Android look like dumb shits.

4. the dude unregistered

the fanboys are just depressed that once steve jobs leaves apple they wont have anybody to tell them what to buy or how to use revouloutionary features that have been around since the first cell phone , such as the correct way to hold a phone

5. jovy121

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

GetAlife your an idiot. connecting a call has to do with AT&T crappy as network. The Verizon iphone doesn't drop nowhere near as much. Android is great but has more flaws than ios. 1 Googe does'nt care if you download an app and it kills your phone 2 Good luck on your super 3GHZ 1TB phone lasting all day 3 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4? Which one is it?????? 4 The military is better off with a blackberry device for more reliability than android.

6. cc unregistered

So what you are saying is: 1. Google lets you make decisions 2. The phones are too good for the battery. 3. The operating system evolves 4. The military probably loves doing battery pulls ten times a day You are a moron.

24. zuno gyakusatsu

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

im sure they would enjoy doing battery pulls more than having to hard reset their phone every other day.

41. cc unregistered

Good try.

9. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

Verizon iPhone has an antenna issue just like the ATT version, its a well known issue, just hold your phone correctly lol. Point 1 True to an extent, but mostly due to the fragmentation arguement. Point 2 I wish that was available! lol. But least you can quickly switch to a full battery. Point 3 Is irrelevant because iOS has just as many OS updates to keep up with. Point 4 Absolutely agree. I don't see how Blackberry got beat out by Android. For the features needed Blackberry can handle no problem.

10. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

Android prolly beat out BB because of Angry Birds lol

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