Pentagon Backs iPhone, iPod Apps for Combat Troops

Pentagon develops apps for ubiquitous Apple devices
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2009 8:40 AM CDT
In this photo taken Friday, May 1, 2009, a US army soldier briefs his Iraqi army colleagues while on patrol in east Baghdad, Iraq.    (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
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(Newser) – With more than 30,000 third-party applications now available for the iPhone and iPod touch, a new organization is getting into the game: the American military. As the Independent reports, the Pentagon thinks Apple's gadgets are ideal for "network centric warfare" and is funding projects for everything from translation to bomb disposal. Some soldiers on the front lines are already using the technology.

The versatility of Apple's operating system allows the military to load up iPhones and iPods with dozens of apps at minimal cost. They can also be used on a secure wireless network, permitting troops to upload sensitive material such as combat reports or images of detained suspects. The director of army intelligence and e-warfare said that the gadgets "may be all that the personnel need."