Android & iPhone Dominate Apps for Army




In unveiling the winners this week of the Army’s first-ever application development challenge, Army Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson said that the contest demonstrated more than the technical creativity of enlisted soldiers and Army civilians. It also demonstrated a new model for dealing with the military’s notoriously cumbersome acquisition process.

It may also have demonstrated something else: The momentum Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating systems are gaining inside the traditionally walled-off world of military networks.

Conceived as a way to develop and deliver applications to Army personnel more quickly than the traditional acquisition process normally allows, the Apps for Army challenge avoided many of the hurdles that often result in software projects taking years to deliver. There was no need, for instance, for the usual requirements documents, requests for proposals and lengthy development and testing cycles.

And by partnering with the Defense Information Systems Agency, using its Rapid Access Computing Environment, the Army found a way for participating developers to certify their apps quickly.