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Android Iphone The Military Apple

Army Plots Its Smartphone Strategy 125

gManZboy writes "What kind of smartphone should a soldier have? Ahead of the impending expiration of two communications contracts, the Army's 5th Signal Command is prepping for the possibility of buying thousands of mobile devices. An RFI asks for BlackBerrys, 'emerging smartphones included but not limited to 4G devices such as Androids [and] iPhones,' tablet computers, and wireless broadband access devices. Also in the Army mobile vision: an apps marketplace."
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Army Plots Its Smartphone Strategy

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  • by ProfM ( 91314 ) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:06PM (#38043424)
    The US military has already embraced Linux.

    Army National Guard Using Linux [linuxjournal.com]

    My guess is that they'll go Android, simply for the fact they CAN change and update the OS to be more secure than it currently is.

  • by a.phoenicis ( 1026040 ) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:27PM (#38043528)
    Clearly, you don't know much about the iOS Dev environment. Under Apple's current development terms, organizations can already set up and deploy to their own privately managed App Distribution systems for their own privately signed devices. This would be no different.
  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:35PM (#38044530)
    On the contrary, the technology that the ordinary troops use is dated, heavy and expensive. Everything is custom-built and procured by a single buyer in a pretty non-competitive tendering market. Example: handheld GPS receiver [wikipedia.org], $2000 per unit, low resolution grayscale LCD, heavy on batteries etc. If it was released on the consumer market nobody would buy it. The only advantage it might have is being rugged, but its MTBF is listed at 5000 hours which isn't that great, plus consumer units like the Garmin Vista series are quite rugged and waterproof and have many other advantages.
  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @11:16PM (#38045006)

    On the contrary, the technology that the ordinary troops use is dated, heavy and expensive.

    And meets the very specific requirements of the military.

    The army wont be taking this stuff around suburbia in big aircon'd SUV's. They'll be taking it to the worst places on earth, 45 C heat, minus 20 C cold, mud, torrential rain, sandstorms and that's on a good day. The equipment will need to survive being dropped, thrown, sat on, fell on and manhandled by an organisation who doesn't have the word subtlety in it's vocabulary.

    Above this, it needs to work, first time, every time after being dropped in the mud, blasted by sand, trod on and thrown. This is why a simple GPS unit weights 3 KG. Also it needs to be deadly accurate, the Garmin units just aren't that accurate, They rely on a lot of guesswork to plot your position and their sample rate is crap compared to a professional Trimble GPS unit. An expensive Magellan unit off the shelf costs $500 and has an inaccuracy of 3-5 metres, a Trimble GeoXH or GeoXT has an inaccuracy of 10-50 CM but they start at $3000 each (start at, they go past $7500). Trimble's are what we use for professional field work, where we need to record it down to the nearest metre or more.

    Consumer units are neither rugged enough, nor accurate enough for military, hell, most wont survive a day with a geologist, let alone a marine.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351