Just as the Defense Department granted iOS devices approval for use on military networks, TheStreet reports that the U.S. Air Force plans on saving around $50 million through its purchase of iPads. The savings will mainly be due to the ability to cut weight on flights by replacing traditional flight bags and come over a ten year period:
“We’re saving about 90 pounds of paper per aircraft and limiting the need for each crew member to carry a 30 to 40 pound paper pile [of flight manuals],” said Major Brian Moritz, EFB program manager, in a phone interview. “It adds up to quite a lot of weight in paper.”
Removing the need to print and distribute thousands of flight manuals, however, equates to an even greater cost saving. “It comes out to just over $5 million a year,” noted Moritz. “With fuel savings, it comes out to $5.7 million annually in pure cost. When you look at $5.7 million a year, over 10 years, that’s well over $50 million.”
In February of last year the Air Force revealed plans to purchase up to 18,000 iPads as a replacement to traditional flight bags, although at the time it was considering other tablets and looking for the lowest cost of entry possible.
According to the report, the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command now currently has around 16,000 iPads in use with another 2,000 spread across other Air Force members.
Even the simple “CTRL F” word search function, for example, is a huge time saver, something that could be crucial in an emergency. “Say that you have an engine problem or an engine fire over the North Atlantic,” said Moritz. “Having a device that you can use the search function and quickly pick out key words will drive you to a deeper level while you’re pushed for time.”
Like any electronic device used by the military, security is of paramount importance. “The camera and the Wi-Fi are turned off unless the device is in a pre-determined, undisclosed location where its OS certificates can be updated,”
Following reports earlier this month that the Defense Department was in the process of approving iOS 6 for nonclassified communications and widespread use by government agencies, Bloomberg reports today that Apple has officially be granted approval for use on U.S. military networks.
The Pentagon already approved Samsung devices powered by the company’s Knox security software and BB10 ahead of today’s approval of iOS 6.
In February the US Defense Department confirmed plans to open its networks to 100,000 new devices from Apple and Google by February of next year. At that time the Pentagon said its networks now have about 470,000 BlackBerrys, 41,000 Apple products, and 8,700 Android devices.
A number of U.S. agencies switched from BlackBerry to iPhones over the last year, while earlier reports indicate Samsung is attempting to attract more government and corporate customers with a new team of security experts and former RIM employees as well as a water and dust proof variant of its flagship S4 dubbed the Galaxy S4. Today’s security approval will increase the number of agencies allowed to deploy iPhone and iPads on government networks for nonclassified communications.
During a presentation with advertisers, CW Network president Mark Pedowitz announced that the network would be expanding its content offerings to new multimedia devices. This strategy will include a spot as an app on the Apple TV set-top-box’s home screen.
The network confirmed this to MacRumors:
It’s a dedicated CW app that will work like our Xbox and mobile and tablet apps – no cable authentication required, full episodes of our shows available next day after air, ad-supported.
Notably, as noted in the above quote, the CW content will be ad-supported.
CW currently streams its content to software on Microsoft Windows devices such as the Xbox. Apple recently added Hulu Plus and sports content to the Apple TV, and the current generation Apple set-top-box has sported YouTube and Netflix integration since launch.
Apple is also rumored to be nearing a content deal for Apple TV with HBO.
CW currently hosts various TV episodes in addition to some original content. The network lists its show offerings on its website.
Pebble, the popular bluetooth smartwatch that raised over $10M on Kickstarter before shipping to backers in January, today announced the release of an updated SDK and APIs that will allow iOS and Android developers to create apps for the platform. TechCrunch talked to Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky about the updates:
“We are pledging to support the developers hacking on Pebble…. We want to make pebble the go-to place for developers.” The company released its first SDK last month and is following it up today with several big improvements…. “This new investment will help us build out the Pebble development ecosystem and deliver on Pebble’s extraordinary potential.”
The updated Pebblekit SDK will now allow developers to create third-party apps that will be able to send and receive data to apps on the Pebble smartwatch. The updated SDK will effectively allow developers to build new apps for the platform, for example, taking weather or news information from an iOS or Android app and displaying it on the watch. Previously devs were limited to implementing the basic functions of Pebble.
You might have heard RunKeeper recently added support for tracking data using Pebble and today Pebble is making easier for similar fitness apps to do the same with a new Sports API for accessing the GPS features of the watch.
Pebble also offered up some stats: The SDK has now been downloaded 8,000 times with around 300,000 unique app installs for the 5,000 apps that have been created thus far. Also, there are about 70,000 Pebbles in the wild since launching in January, while the company plans to hit retail locations within four to six months.
To top things off, the company announced today that it is getting an additional $15M in funding.