Air Force seeks software to monitor iPads for electronic flight bags

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Mobile device software will manage access and security for thousands of smartphones and tablets.

The Air Force Special Operations Command kicked off a procurement last week for mobile device management software for the 2,725 Apple iPads it bought in May to serve as electronic flight bags, which store and display flight charts and manuals.

Mobile device management software registers and controls the use of smartphones on a network, enforces security policies, and remotely locks or wipes a device clean of all data to guard against unauthorized access. The software can automatically push applications to users over wireless networks and can manage access to commercial or government applications.

AFSOC said it wants to purchase mobile management software that can support up to 6,000 devices around the world, which besides the iPads it has already purchased includes smartphones and tablets that run on the Android, BlackBerry and Symbian operating systems. Bids are due Aug. 30.

On Aug. 17, the Agriculture Department launched a procurement for a mobile device management system to serve up to 100,000 users, and on Aug. 24, the Interior Department said it was considering purchasing a mobile device management product that will allow it to remotely update, manage, monitor, and shut down or wipe employees’ smartphones and tablets even when they are traveling abroad.