The United States military has been testing touchscreen phones for approved use in the field. According to a report from CNN in an interview with program director Mike McCarthy and Ed Mazzanti, the three platforms being tested currently in the six-week trial are iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices.
In the trials, troops have collectively evaluated more than 300 Android, iPhone and Windows Phone units…
The military is trying to aid soldiers with these devices to assist in combat situations:
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.
“When they have a problem or need to submit a report, they default to the texting,” said Michael McCarthy, an Army director for the program. “These young soldiers grew up with this technology. They’re very familiar with it. They’re very comfortable with it.”
McCarthy and Ed Mazzanti notes that the trial devices have fared well with the exception of one Samsung device running Android which was unable to connect to their existing systems and a well-known issue with the iPhone’s carrier-connectivity in the desert.
The caveat in this whole program is that the military will only accept and support two of the platforms, so of the three being tested, only two will be approved devices. It’s a shame they couldn’t have tested Mango devices as the Windows Phone experience gets resoundingly better with the update, but here’s hoping Windows Phone becomes one of the chosen platforms for the U.S. Army.