updated 06:25 pm EDT, Wed April 27, 2011
Still months away from being a practical reality
WIRED today provided an preview of what may become the military's own version of an online apps store. Named Army Marketplace, the Army hopes the site will provide a source of downloadable Army-relevant software for soldiers' work computers and mobile phones. Ultimately, these apps will make their way down to the rank and file soldier. Practical implementation is still months off into the future.
Initially, the site will offer over 30 applications created for Android phones and iPhones by soldiers during the Army's "Apps for the Army" contest held last year. Ultimately, the Army hopes the site will be a catalyst for new applications as well.
One challenge is that there currently is no Android or iOS phone that has passed the rigorous security certifications to host government data. That is months away. This means that while soldiers may be able to download apps to their work computers, there's no phone to load them on. Until then, the site will be more of a demonstration of concept than anything else.
The Army plans to debut the Marketplace at the upcoming LandWarNet conference in August.