We live in a world where modern communication technologies have reached a collective tipping point – where we can communicate in a near instantaneous fashion across mountains, oceans and valleys, all through our mobile devices. As such, it has never been easier to provide and access the information we need – whether for pleasure, business, or more serious matters. While we live and operate in this world, this has not always been the case for military personnel, often whom of which are living in less-than-ideal conditions in the field.
Going that extra step to make things just a tad easier, the US Army yesterday announced the launch of their Software Marketplace, giving soldiers easy access to training manuals and other handbooks in the form of download-friendly native and web-based apps. Still in its prototype phase, there are currently 12 such apps available on the website, created by the Army's Connecting Soldiers to Digital Apps (CSDA) program. Only available for iOS devices at the moment, soldiers are able to download these apps onto their personal iPhones, iPads, and even the iPod Touch.
The Software Marketplace name is a slight misnomer, functioning more as a list that links to the apps on the Apple App Store, similar to Tablified, but of course, on a more national security-esque level. As the CSDA program advances, support for Android devices will be added, assuming with apps download-able from the Google Play Store, and will also include more web-based apps.
Some of the apps available now are: The Soldier’s Blue Book (initial entry training guide), Army Values, Army Social media handbook, and Developing a Performance Work Statement, among others.
In a press release, Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence said that the Apps Marketplace is at the center of the Army's efforts to radically reduce the time to deliver applications across the force. She continued, stating that the prototype was the first step in establishing and exercising new submission and approval processes that would eventually enable Army members, organizations, and third-party app developers to release applications for Army-wide distribution.
This might not seem as much of a big deal, but I thin we can all certainly appreciate anything that makes things easier and more comfortable for the people in uniform.
If you have access to an iOS device, you can visit the site at www.marketplace.army.mil