US army is now “Smart”!
The Department of Defense has recently approved the use of Samsung phones running a secure version of Android US. This approval is the start of a process that will see many different types of mobile devices used by US soldiers. In just a few weeks, the use of other Android devices as well as Apple phones and tablets is expected to be also approved.
Before now, ailing phone maker Blackberry was the only firm whose products were approved for use by US service personnel. The reason for such domination is that it was the only make to meet the Department’s stringent security demands.
Well that doesn’t mean that the US army is now going to spoil its soldiers with high tech devices. In fact, “The approval would not necessarily result in orders for gadgets, but meant different groups within the DoD could now buy the devices most appropriate to their needs.” said DoD spokesman Lt Col Damien Pickart.
According to one report on Federal News Radio, the approval of other handset makers is part of a US DoD plan to more than double the number of secure mobile devices used by its armed forces by 2014. Alongside this, will be built a secure system to manage all these devices and their associated app stores. Commercial bids to provide this are currently being assessed.
Samsung phones were among the first to win approval because of work done on a hardened version of the Android operating system called Knox that also met those security requirements. Gadgets that run Apple’s iOS 6 operating system as well as other Android phones are currently undergoing testing by the Defense Information Systems Agency and are expected to be approved by the end of the month.
If the government follows through on expanding its smartphone portfolio this year, US workers may finally gain broader choices that the market already provides them with in their personal lives — and Obama just might be able to upgrade from that aging handset. (T.C. Sottek, from TheVerge.com).