The Pentagon has approved a version of Android running on Dell hardware to be used by DoD officials, along with the BlackBerry. The approval of Android by the DoD is a major setback for Apple's iPhone.
The military approval is quite specific. Android can only be used on Dell's hardware running Android 2.2. Dell is now offering Dell Venue which runs on Android 2.2. So, this is the phone which DoD employees can use.
The Dell Mobile Security for Android platform has been certified by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for information assurance and use on defence networks. The Dell Android solution will help the military adapt to today’s operating environment with greater mobility and improved, real-time access to information on the ground.
Why the DoD chose Android ? The reason was simple: open source. Starts & Stripes repots, “Android, developed by Google and other companies, is open source software meaning it can be easily configured by uses – including DOD tech whizzes who want to install security measures.” Using Apple's iPhone or iOS by government officials is a risk, especially when used by non-American officials. Apple tracks your movement through the built-in GPS chips.
Other features include enhanced password protection such as the ability to lock the device down after multiple unsuccessful password entries. Administrators also can remotely control the peripherals and security policy levels on the device, he said. The government-issue Streak 5 also includes DISA-approved security provided by Good Technology’s Mobility Suite.
Although the Streak 5 is no longer available commercially, Dell is supplying it to DOD because the military likes the form factor, Marinho said. However, he added that the same capabilities and service can be delivered to other platforms running on Android.