More federal agencies choosing iPhone, iPad over Blackberry and traditional computing

President Obama has started to relax some of the technology use policies within the government, as more and more federal workers have opted to use the iPhone and iPad in place of devices like the Blackberry and PC.

The flashy consumer products that have been adopted in the corporate workforce — upending BlackBerrys for iPhones, Microsoft Outlook for Gmail, and lately laptops for iPads — are now invading the federal government. The State Department. The Army. The Department of Veterans Affairs. NASA.

The list of supporting government agencies goes on and on. Federal workers have found they're more mobile and less tied down when using devices like the iPad instead of being strapped to a desktop PC -- some even preferring the tablet over working on a standard laptop computer.

Even Obama, a longtime [Crackberry has ditched his Blackberry and instead totes around an iPad for productivity and connectivity, suggesting a driving force not only from front-line workers, but also from top officials. This indicates the iOS platform is further strengthening Apple's role in the workplace and among federal agencies, which is always considered a good thing in our book.

Any corporate or federal workers seeing these changes in the workplace? Let us know what you think in the comments!

[Washington Post via Daring Fireball]

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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

More federal agencies choosing iPhone, iPad over Blackberry and traditional computing


I just wish they'd stop making government websites only compatible with Internet Explorer. My wife has an old iBook G4 that works just fine in every way...except that she can't access our state's Medicaid website in order to bill for her services (psychotherapy). Dumb.

Interesting! My company has been considering using iOS devices because so many of our independent sales reps use them already, but we're a medical device company, so there are security/privacy hurdles that iOS hasn't been able to handle yet. Maybe this is a step in that direction?
To be honest, though, I'm perfectly happy with my current BB9700 as a work device.

How many times a day you pull your baterry on that blackwhatever? Sorry but I don't think you are happy!!!

On the 9700? I've never had to pull the battery. You're probably thinking of the original Bold 9000 (and its 128MB. I had to pull the battery on that thing daily.

The company I work for uses Verizon exclusively for aircards and smartphones. We were offered to supplement our Blackberry devices with iPhones and Android devices, but opted against iPhones because of security issues. However, next time we refresh phones, employees will have a choice between a Blackberry or an Android device.

Which Android devices will you be able to use? My housemate's company is transitioning from BB to Android, but the only device that meets their current security spec is the Droid Pro.

I'm not 100% sure. I expect they'll decide that when the next refresh comes up for phones. It's usually every 2 years (from when you last got a phone), but I think this time it will be company-wide. Believe it or not, some people have refused to upgrade and are running 5 year old Blackberries. I expect they'll be forced to upgrade when they decide to do the refresh.

Funny, just a short year ago Obama stated knocking these devices,
"iPods and iPads and PlayStations and Xboxes" — for turning "information" into a "distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment."
Than again, I guess these past few years as debt increases as the value of the dollar DEcreases, new wars on top of old wars begin, and the economy continues, I can see where he might be a bit distracted.
I guess it's good for him, but not the rest of us....November 2012 cannot come quick enough!

Woooh - found the angry conservative. If Palin 2012 is the repugs only choice - God help us - Aramegedon is not far behind (though I thought we were close under W's watch - truly the Anti-Christ watched over that one - i.e. Cheney!).

I wish it were as easy as conservative vs liberal. We've been getting some lousy choices to pick from on both sides of the fence. If you could look at Obama's track record so far (from a realistic point of view) and tell me what he really has accomplished, I'll give you some kind of credit. I see the economy still in the ground, he was supposed to fix it and realized taking loans out against money you don't have, to sink it into the economy, and tax it again on it's way doesnt work. We were supposed to end these 2 wars, we are now in a 3rd one. Gas prices were supposed to fall......ummmm $50 to fill up my Honda Civic is a little extreme, no? This of course has led to higher groceries, and of course no family vacation this year. I have clients who have been unemployed for over 2 years, one of them a Sr. Civil Engineer who had to take a job selling cars on a lot to put food on the table.
Some of this has to get fixed, almost 3 years, where's that change he was preaching?
This is not coming from a conservative. This comes from a very concerned American who sees a lot going on and doesn't like it.
I wish I could throw a name out there and say vote for THIS one or THAT one instead. No matter what, get THE GUY THAT IS IN THERE OUT!!!!!!

Darrell Issa, the Congressmen in the district next door to me, has been objecting on grounds of security for a few weeks. ( ) His complaint isnot so much that iPads are inherently insecure, but that he thinks devices that access public networks (e.g. AT&T, when you get service :) ) without going through government proxies should not be allowed at certain government installations (e.g. the White House) or by a certain level of government employee. It will be interesting to see where that goes.

Man, IT security is such a house of cards. It could all fall down with a simple bit of social engineering. Basically all of our security masters put a brave face on, knowing that they are fighting a losing battle with the eventuality of an incident. And it all comes with a huge hit on productivity for the worker bees.
If the gov't wanted to be really secure, the answer is basically to not use any electronic devices and communicate face-to-face, do it with paper with lockout procedures, blah blah blah. Mayhap encrypted electronics communication (email, voice, etc) will work, but it's so unusable that it's basically useless. (An opportunity for Apple here, though the gov't would want a backdoor anyways).
Anyways, the gov't agency I work has been issuing iPhones since the 3GS. ;) Oh yeah, it's about 1000x better than Blackberrys for what we do: read email, calendaring, contacts, view office documents and webex while listening to conference calls.
The BB 8800 I had prior was basically only good for email and calendaring. RIM does a great job supporting Exchange Server features. Hopefully, Apple further integrates and support Exchange server. That's probably it's biggest weakness in Enterprise.

"Server features. Hopefully, Apple further integrates and support Exchange server. That’s probably it’s biggest weakness in Enterprise."
Yes. Yes. Yes. Have been saying this for years since I switched from bb to iphone3g.

You're more right than you know...
Last year's Chinese hackings of various Google services were enabled by a backdoor Google had to put in place to comply with US government demands. Several countries have loudly demanded RIM allow them similar powers. Apple surely faces the same demands for MobileMe/iCloud/System.NEXT.

I'm sure every one of those idevices are jail broken to the core. They probably have iPhones on sprint, Verizon, at&t, T-Mobile, and Metro PCS

Looks like Steve is taking an oath.
"Mr. Jobs, please take this iPhone in your right hand and repeat after me. I, Steven Paul Jobs, do solemnly swear..."

Security, my foot!!!
Lockheed-Martin, a DoD supplier, has its Microsoft-based computing with all the security was broken into recently!!!
The concept of not enough security of Apple's Systems is IT's boogie-man to keep their large costly empires!!!

President Obama has ZERO say over federal IT policies. Each agency sets its own IT policy, has an independent budget and ultimately decides who gets what. Let's not give Jesus II more credit than he deserves here.

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