A major division of the US Army is planning to dump Google's Android operating system in favour of iPhones, according to reports.
A story on Military.com's DoD Buzz, has heard from an unnamed source that US Army Special Operations Command (SOC) is going to use the iPhone 6S as its tactical smartphone.
The SOC currently uses the Android Tactical Assault Kit, a modified version of an Android-powered smartphone connected to a networked Harris radio and designed to run custom-made military apps, but has found it slow and prone to crashing.
The source said "Android freezes up" and has to be restarted too often, wasting valuable time, in particular when viewing live-streamed footage from an unmanned aerial system such as Instant Eye.
The reported move will see the SOC switch to an iPhone Tactical Assault Kit, according to the report, using the iPhone 6S as the main end-user device.
"It's seamless on the iPhone. The graphics are clear, unbelievable," said the source.
The US Army has yet to comment on the switch, and we still have some questions. It's been reported that the SOC was using Samsung Galaxy Note handsets, but it's unclear which model was deployed. If the Army was using the first-gen phablet from 2010, for example, it wouldn't be all that surprising that the iPhone is quicker.
It's also not known whether the Army has tried any newer Android devices, such as the Snapdragon 820-powered Galaxy S7, which has proved to be on a par with the iPhone 6S in terms of performance.
Still, this isn't the first time that the US Army has placed an Apple product into the hands of soldiers. As reported at 9to5Mac, the Army began handing out iPod touches to soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010, equipping each with language modules including Iraqi Arabic, Kurdish, Dari and Pashto.
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