The Galaxy S4 has been cleared for government use by the U.S. Department of Defense, with Samsung’s new Knox security software deemed safe for military use. It’s the first Android-powered smartphone to ever win DoD approval, and it gets it ahead of Apple’s iPhone.
Reports that circulated earlier this week claimed the Galaxy S4 had been sent for DoD approval, but it wasn’t expected to get the thumbs-up until later this month. The news comes just after BlackBerry’s new BlackBerry 10 operating system was approved by the DoD.
The Galaxy S4 is currently the only Samsung smartphone to offer the new Knox software, which was announced at Mobile World Congress back in February, but Samsung says that existing high-end devices will also see it later on. The feature uses NSA-developed security features to encrypt things like sensitive emails and documents, while allowing personal files, such as photos and music, to remain decrypted.
The Galaxy S4 is the only Android-powered smartphone to ever be approved for government use, which is quite a feat for Samsung. The Korean company has said that it will continue to target its devices at the government and large enterprises in the future.
The iPhone is also undergoing DoD testing, according to recent reports, and it’s likely we’ll see the outcome of those tests in the coming weeks. It’s unclear why it’s taken so long for Apple’s device to go through this process.