The Metropolitan Police could be using both smartphones and tablets running Android and Windows 8 by the end of 2014, as well as Apple tablets.
Concerning the latter, yesterday we reported on the revelation that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) had revealed a new £200 million programme to put iPad minis into the hands of some 15,000 police officers.
In actual fact, not only are London police looking at compact Apple tablets for officers on the beat, but V3.co.uk has talked to Metropolitan Police CIO Richard Thwaite, and he said that Android and Windows devices will also be used – pending the approval of GCHQ (the Communications Electronics Security Group department) later this year.
Thwaite told V3: “Because of security we are restricted to iOS devices for the pilot but we are anticipating Android and Windows 8 will be approved later in the year, so we will look to roll that out.”
Thus far the pilot has seen 500 iPad mini tablets ordered, to be used in a trial based in Hammersmith and Fulham which should start in the spring. The hope is that officers will be able to spend less time desk-bound, and more time on the front lines, out and about in the community, by using the tablets.
Thwaite noted that not every officer would be best suited by an iPad mini, which is why the force needs a range of devices to pick from, not just Apple gadgets. The inclusion of Windows means that those needing to do heavier productivity work in the field, for example, could perhaps use Microsoft’s Surface or the Asus Transformer Book T100.
The CIO confirmed that the hardware’s platform would be irrelevant, as the applications the Met is building are device agnostic (built with HTML5).