Android devices could start appearing throughout the military, after a decision by the Department of Defense to allow Dell’s Android-based mobile OS to be used on its networks.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has published a Security Technical Implementation Guide for the Dell Streak 5 tablet – discontinued from commercial sale, but apparently great for the military.
“This certification will allow the next wave of Dell Android devices, set for release next year, to be rapidly integrated into military environments,” says Dell’s Joe Ayers on the company blog.
“With access to the Android ecosystem, members of the military will have access to information on their PCs or desktops, command and control programs and a number of different powerful solutions that enable members in the military to operate with similar capabilities as those in controlled environments.”
It’s a first for the DOD – up to now, only Research In Motion’s BlackBerry has been approved for widespread use on military networks. While there have been specific Android and Apple trials, they’ve been on a small scale.
Dell says it’s been working with the DOD for over a year to develop a secure Android platform, and the devices will include the ability to transmit secure unclassified messages along with enhanced password protection and the ability to shut them down remotely.
“In partnership with Good Technologies, Dell developed a solution for the Android operating system that will give users secure access to email, documents, a partitioned ecosystem of Android apps and other business applications,” says Ayers.