Feeds

US Army to issue Droid dev kit in July

Battle-smartphones go to war in 2013

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The US Army has announced that it will soon throw open an Android dev kit allowing apps to be written for use by soldiers on a variety of combat handsets and devices.

The military Droid framework is known as Mobile/Handheld Computing Environment (CE).

"Using the Mobile /Handheld CE Product Developers Kit, we're going to allow the third-party developers to actually develop capabilities that aren't stovepiped," says Lt-Col Mark Daniels. Daniels is in charge of the Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) handheld device, which is essentially a military Droid phone: it is expected to be issued to US Army and Marine ground units from 2013.

The colonel says that the mobile/handheld CE dev kit will be released in July. Before that point the Army will develop certain core apps that will come with every handset, to include mapping, so-called Blue Force Tracking (displaying where friendly units are in order to avoid "friendly fire" incidents), TIGR map-marking and messaging. According to Daniels there will also be an address book and OpenOffice for document viewing.

"It's like when you get an iPhone and you have the Apple-made apps: the contacts, the email," says J Tyler Barton, Army app engineer. "Then other applications are free to use those apps, or to go above and beyond that."

The base software is being designed to run on a variety of different Android variants. As to hardware, the JBC-P may be either an existing government off-the-shelf unit or possibly a commercial off-the-shelf buy. It will have a "ruggedised tactical sleeve or case".

Networking will be provided by any of a variety of existing military radios: specifically named are the Joint Tactical Radio System, JTRS Soldier Radio Waveform, Netted Iridium, and the PRC 117G and PRC 152A used by the Marines. The system and its baseline apps are expected to tie in with existing vehicle-mounted and headquarters kit provided under previous command-and-control/blue-force-tracking projects,

"That's going to allow us to be interoperable across the entire family of systems, which would include the platforms, the aviation, the logistics community, the tanks, the Bradleys, the handhelds," Daniels says. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.