US Army has been thinking about handing a smartphone to all its soldiers for a while now, but the age old dilemma of Android vs iPhone delayed things. However, things seems to be moving ahead as the Army has decided to go with Android technology instead of the iPhone.
The platform used by Army will not be the default Android OS that an average consumer uses, rather, it will be tweaked in specifications and features and would be called Joint Battle Command Platform. Army is designing and customizing the software internally, but all the details have not been finalized yet. As with any smartphone, third-party developers will be able to develop apps for this platform just like they do for consumer-oriented phones. On the other hand, Army is also working to internally build a number of mission critical apps including a mapping program and a messaging tool.
Analysts think that Apple’s relatively closed architecture and smaller choice of hardware, prompted the Army officials to go with Android. With a launch target of fiscal year 2013, Army hopes it will be able to equip every soldier with a smartphone, hence, nurturing a stronger communication network within the institution.
The system is expected to be established enough by October this year, so that it can be tested rigorously.