The U.S. military has been making a strong push lately into building on top of existing systems like the Android OS in order to increase capabilities while keeping costs low. The Army recently wrapped up its "Apps for Army" competition in which Army soldiers and civilians were asked to create apps that were of use to the Army. The contest wound up involving 141 programmers split among 53 apps.
Of particular interest to Android users is the fact that 10 of the 15 winning apps were running on Android, with the remaining five written for the iPhone. One of the top Android winners was written by two Army Corps of Engineers members and was designed to help the Army organize and spread critical information using Google Maps and Earth during disaster relief efforts. The pair chose Android as their platform of choice because it was "more flexible to use" than the iPhone's development environment.
The Army officer in charge of the competition, Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson, commented that the other service branches were looking into similar competitions as well. He also said that "as soon as next year" the Army would consider getting iPhones and Android devices into the hands of deployed soldiers.
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