Those airliners, fighter planes and satellites you have seen coming out of the Boeing company are going to be joined by one other machine; a smartphone. The contractor has set their sights on making a communications tool that is secure enough for government use. If that does not tell the world that the mobile Revolution is in full swing, nothing will. What is ironic is that Boeing is choosing to power those smartphones with the Android operating system, an inherently insecure software.
Those who read up on the different mobile operating systems are probably looking at this decision by Boeing as a mistake. A secure Android smartphone? The malware that Android handsets suffer is quite the news nearly every week. If you do not see, "Newly found Android malware infects millions", on the internet it is considered a very good week for the Google product. But the people at Boeing may know something we do not. A lot of malware on the Android operating system comes from the way Google handles their Google Play market. They do not police their apps and plenty of dangerous stuff flows from bad apps into those smartphones that are owned by unsuspecting users. Surely Boeing is privy to this.
The smartphone Boeing is planning on making will likely be for the government, the military and upper level government contractors. Android was picked because of its popularity. The Apple iPhone is actually more popular than smartphones that run Android, but as any geeks knows, iOS is off limits to those who want the source code. The Android platform has plenty of versions and ROMs from places like XDA Forums. The security that Boeing seeks is possible, but not likely. Linux is at the root of software, so unless Boeing changes a lot of the code, it is open for inspection by the most ruthless of crackers.
The free price of the Boeing smartphone software may be an attraction. Not having to pay for the creation of its own mobile operating system will be less of a burden on the backs of taxpayers. The Boeing company does not plan on making this smartphone a "mass market" handset. In other words, you are not going to find it on the shelves of T-Mobile or Sprint. Defense and intelligience customers are the target market. The United States Government may end up choosing this Boeing handset over the Research In Motion products. That would be another nail in the coffin of a company that is already declining rapidly.
Most people do not yet know that Boeing has already chosen the Android system for one of their large jets, the 787 Dreamliner. It has servers and touch screens that use the Android platform for entertainment. This acceptance of the Google product means the jump to smartphones will seem like a turning of the corner. The irony of the installation of Android touch screens on Boeing planes will mean that first-class customers will not be able to enjoy a touch screen experience. Their screens will be too far away to touch. Second-class and coach classes will be playing with Android on future 787 flights.
Securing the Boeing smartphone is going to be the number one priority of the aircraft company. It is not just an infected app that can take complete control over an Android smartphone. It can be done within Android. If Boeing can secure their upcoming smartphones, more power to them.