This iPhone app won papal endorsement. Image Source: New York Daily News.
There are two new reports out about iPhone apps that show the curious interfaces between technology and religion on the one hand, and technology and war on the other.
The first report (here and here) gives details on a Vatican-supported application that lets you confess your sins and say the required prayers and pay penance. The app, called Confession, sells for USD $1.99, and also allows you to save all your sins so you can keep track of them. This way busy people do not need to visit the Churches except to seek Absolution from a priest.
Taliban Tracker for your iPhone. Image Source: Fox News.
Caption for the above photo: U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Shoemaker, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment. U.S. Army Capt. Jonathan J. Springer tests his new smartphone app in eastern Afghanistan's Pech River Valley Jan. 17. The navigation application displays a Military Grid Reference System, plots waypoints, and gives directions in Mils.
The other report (see also here and here) describes US soldier Jonathan Springer's design of an iPhone app called Tactical Nav, which allows its users to track Taliban fighters:
The idea for a smartphone application to assist soldiers in combat came to Capt. Jonathan J. Springer in a dream last July, he said Monday. The 31-year-old, from Fort Wayne, Ind., has worked with programmers ever since to make the idea a reality. Tactical Nav, which is expected to be available through Apple’s App Store next month, assists soldiers in mapping, plotting and photographing waypoints on a battleground and conveying coordinates to supporting units. Springer used a variety of armored vehicles, remote observation posts and harsh combat conditions to test the accuracy of his invention, which can also be used to direct artillery fire on enemy positions or call in helicopter support. Springer, who serves as a battalion fire support officer in eastern Afghanistan, said most soldiers use smartphones and the app has been designed specifically for them. “Since day one, I always believed that smartphones could be utilized by the U.S. military for combat purposes,” he said.