The Army goes Android

The Army goes Android

Summary: As does the Air Force, Marines, and Navy--but only with Android 2.2 and only on a handful of Dell devices.

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Here comes the Android army!

Here comes the Android army!

The U.S. military stands to be stuck in its way when it comes to technologies. For ages the only smartphone you could use in Department of Defense (DOD) operations was a Blackberry. Now, as first reported by Stars and Stripes, you can use your Android phone and tablet on DOD business and with DOD networks.

Don't get in too much in a hurry to try to connect your new Amazon Kindle Fire or Samsung Galaxy Nexus to your military Wi-Fi network when you get back to base. The DOD's new Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) only approves Android 2.2 and that only on Dell devices. In other words, you can use it if you have a Dell Venue smartphone or, the now discontinued, Dell Streak tablet line. Sigh!

Even if you do have one, you won't be able to use it for classified information or add new applications to it from the Google Android Market. In addition, you'll need to use a DOD proxy server if you want to go wandering the Web with your Dell device.

Still, it's a start. Now that Android has its nose in the door military personnel may soon be able to use other Android devices on duty sometime soon.

IPhones, iPads, and other iOS powered devices? They're still only approved for testing and pilot projects. Sorry Apple fans! Maybe next year.

Android Army image by mathrock, CC 2.0.

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Topics: Android, Smartphones, Security, Mobility, Mobile OS, Laptops, Hardware, Google, Dell, Tablets

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16 comments
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  • Not so whimsical!

    Obviously they would have been unaffordably penned in if they submitted to the whims of a proprietary gadget.
    albionstreet
  • RE: The Army goes Android

    From the article:<br>"you wont be able to ... add new applications to it from the Google Android Market<br><br>Why on earth not?! Oh ... it's a honeypot.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: The Army goes Android

      @Rabid Howler Monkey The same reason most large corporates restrict the use of apps on iPads, iPhones and Android devices - security.
      wright_is
  • An Army ROMp?

    A 'battle field' certified Android ROM could be an unlikely hit.
    albionstreet
    • re: An Army ROMp?

      @albionstreet <br><br>Yeah, it would be bullet proof.
      Return_of_the_jedi
  • RE: The Army goes Android

    You can hardly blame them for being cautious!
    AndyPagin
  • sjvn, How can this be!??? Android (Linux) isn't safe!

    Mutters, walking away....
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • What is iOS based upon?

      iOS is based on Unix.
      No. Apple isn't safe. It doesn't allow security software to be installed, nor does it allow for tracking to be disabled--a very big deal when you don't want a Pentagon employee to be tracked.
      redstateidiot
    • RE: The Army goes Android

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate <br>
      Android != Linux
      http://blogs.computerworld.com/16900/android_linux_kernel_fight_continues
      vivianvein
      • RE: The Army goes Android

        @vivianvein <br><br>" Let me make it simple for you, without Linux, there is no Android.<br>...<br> I'm sure that Android and the mainstream Linux kernel will get back in sync with each other."

        Android is not Linux as much as the Kindle Fire is not Android.
        Return_of_the_jedi
    • RE: sjvn, How can this be!??? Android (Linux) isn't safe!

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz The Linux desktop *is* safe, thanks to it's 1-2% market share. It's also secure, relative to Android, thanks to its managed repositories.<br><br>The takeaway is that Android *is* safe as long as one avoids Google's Android Market. And as long as Dell provides security updates for the devices.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • RE: The Army goes Android

        @Rabid Howler Monkey <br><br>Ballmer said Linux wasn't safe because of the IP stuff. Not the security he is speaking of. Hence the M$ and Zdnet's (quoting FM every chance they get) FUD campaign.
        Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: The Army goes Android

        @Return_of_the_jedi Dell's Linux customers, including the U.S. Army, may very well be 'safe' per Ballmer's intent. Dell was an early signatory to Microsoft's original agreement with Novell:

        "Dell joins Microsof[t] Linux 'protection' deal
        http://news.techworld.com/operating-systems/8771/dell-joins-microsof-linux-protection-deal/

        Does this agreement, extended for another 5 years by Attachmate, apply to all Linux distros, including Ubuntu and Android? Or was it later amended to include Android? Given how close Dell is with Microsoft, I can't imagine Android being left out.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Speaking of an Android Army

    General Dynamics 'Droid
    http://www.gd-itronix.com/gallery/hi_res/H-GD300_10090_017.jpg
    crazieglued
  • RE: The Army goes Android

    Any interaction with the Air Force's Lightweight Portable Security sofware?<br>http://www.spi.dod.mil/lipose.htm<br><br>(I do notice that LPS is for "any Intel-based computer".)
    Rick_R
    • RE: The Army goes Android

      @Rick_R
      See ZDNET article. The Air Force's secure Linux distribution
      h-t-t-p://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/the-air-forces-secure-linux-distribution/9618?tag=search-results-rivers;item0
      daikon