A Mobile App Store for America's Not-Quite-Mobile Army
BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 28 2011
Wired's Spencer Ackerman takes a peek inside the U.S. Army's very own app store, to be released soon if it get get internal approval:
Called Army Marketplace, it’ll start off featuring the few dozen applications that soldiers created last year during the Apps for the Army contest. Those early efforts ran the gamut from workout guides to digitized manuals for standard Army tasks. So far, there are 17 apps for Android phones and another 16 for iPhones.
But the Army Marketplace will do more than sell existing apps. It’ll help generate ideas for new ones, says Lt. Col. Gregory Motes, chief of the Army’s new Mobile Applications Branch. Imagine that a soldier wants an app instructing how to call for artillery fire, and the app doesn’t exist yet. The soldier would post a description of what she needs on a Marketplace forum, attracting discussion from fellow soldiers and potential designers.
The challenge now, details Ackerman, is to get soldiers a smartphone they can use to actually run the apps.