The topic of Android and the government has been ongoing. In fact, the Dell Streak 5 and Android 2.2 Froyo were both certified by the Department of Defense way back in 2011. Looking towards the future though, it appears as if Android handsets will begin rolling-out to government employees beginning in February of 2014. This news comes by way of a Department of Defense announcement and in addition to Android, will also include iOS.
We should point out though, while Android will be coming to the Pentagon on a larger scale in early 2014, this does not mean they are ditching the BlackBerry. As it stands, the Pentagon currently has about 470,000 BlackBerry devices with roughly 41,000 Apple products and 8,700 Android devices. The Apple and Android devices are said to be in place only for testing at this point. The February roll-out will bring a mix of 100,000 Android and iOS devices including smartphones and tablets.
The reasoning here is that the Pentagon wants employees to have the option to use commercial products on its systems. By this they are referring to the exiting networks, of which there are two — one unclassified and one classified. Taking this a step further, the Pentagon also has plans to build a military mobile applications store that can support up to 8 million devices.
For those thinking this move is just about allowing Pentagon employees to have the latest in smartphone and tablet technology, that is not the only reasoning here. Teri Takai, the department’s chief information officer, said that it is “about keeping the department’s workforce relevant in an era when information accessibility and cybersecurity play a critical role in mission success.” But the bottom line here, Android (and iOS) will soon be giving the BlackBerry some competition in a market where they still dominate.
Image via Flickr (gregwest98)