Recently, Captain Johnathan Springer of the US Army developed a really cool iOS app that can pinpoint the coordinates of enemy gunfire. Traditionally, pinpointing enemy gunfire is the support of a fire support officer, and involves a compass, binoculars, a map, a protractor, a GPS device – a secondary GPS device in case one fails – and batteries. A smartphone can replace all of these tools and provide much more, making it the perfect combat tool for a soldier.
Smartphone apps also have the ability to save the military lots of money where it tends to be wasted. Logistics, bureaucracy, communication, and training can all be improved with apps used in the field. Currently, Springer’s app is sold in the App Store for $5.99, but a wholesale purchase by the Department of Defense could make this app readily available.
The biggest hurdle for smartphone apps in the military is probably choosing a device and making sure it’s secure. Although Springer’s Tactival NAV app is developed for iOS, the BlackBerry would make the best platform for military apps. How cool would a modern BlackBerry in an Otterbox Defender Series case be in the field? The military could empower smaller, special forces divisions such as the Green Berets with BlackBerrys and the latest military apps. It would surely make them a more effective fighting team. Or maybe we could just see more smartphones used in Hollywood military movies like the Nokia X7 in Transformer.