If we referred to an Apple or Android army, you might assume we're talking about a legion of brand-loyal fanboys, with which most Engadget commenters are intimately familiar. Defense contractors, however, are trying to turn the US Army into a lethal Apple / Android force with soldier-centric apps. Harris Corp. has a tablet app in the works that allows soldiers to control IP cameras on UAVs for more pertinent intel on the ground while simultaneously sending that information to command centers anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, Intelligent Software Solutions aims to bring mapping mashups to the battlefield (no purpose-built device needed) with an app that combines smartphones' geolocation with historical data to show troops what's been going down in the area -- from IED explosions to insurgent arrests. Best of all, these apps lower training costs since most warriors are already fluent in Android or iOS and the consumer handhelds can be cheaply ruggedized to replace the more robust $10,000 units in the field today. Should protective measures fail, the devices' (relatively) low replacement cost makes them "almost disposable."

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Apple and Android get drafted, soldier-centric Army apps coming soon