The US Army is getting more and more high tech and that included thinking about giving smartphones to its troops. CNN reports that the US Army is close to completing a six week evaluation of a number of smartphones and tablets that could find themselves assigned to soldiers sometime later this year. The Army has tested out over 300 smartphones including ones with the iOS, Android and Windows Phone operating systems. The Army is also evaluating the use of tablets with Apple's iPad and other tablets made by Dell and HP being tested.
The smartphones would not replace existing US Army communications such as radios, according to the report, but would be used in combination with existing equipment. The story states, "The infantry is using smartphones to text message updates about their surroundings, send pictures with an attached GPS location, pull up maps, and quickly fill out regular reports." Not all of the phones have been up to the Army's standards. According to the report, an unnamed Android-based phone from Samsung had issues with bugs as well as connection problems.
The story says that the Army will officially approve two mobile phone operating systems for its use. While Windows Phone-based systems are being tested the story seems to hint that iOS and Android-based systems "have been very well received." The Army says that having two mobile operating systems "can minimize software development needs while still offering variety, which could defend against cyberattacks targeted at a specific type of software platform." However the mobile phone's software and their online communications must be improved before troops will be allowed to use them in the field.