iPhones, iPads get Pentagon approval for military use

May 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- The Pentagon says Apple's iPhone and iPad have been approved for use on military networks after many years of only BlackBerry devices having such approval.

The U.S. Department of Defense gave its approval Friday to Apple's mobile devices that run iOS 6, giving the Cupertino, Calif., company its first opportunity to have a role in U.S. military information systems, Mac Observer reported.

The department issued a Security Technical Implementation Guide, clearing the way for iOS 6 devices to "connect to Defense Department networks within current mobility pilots or the future mobile device management framework."

After years of limiting itself to BlackBerry devices, the Pentagon has moved to offer military personnel more choices in the devices they use.

In addition to BlackBerry and, now, Apple devices, the Pentagon has approved Samsung devices running a version of Android hardened with add-on "Knox" software.

Currently, the Department of Defense has deployed more than 600,000 mobile devices; 470,000 BlackBerry devices, 41,000 Apple devices and another 8,700 Android devices.

Apple and Android devices already in use with the department are mostly being tested in pilot programs.

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