Android – The New Face of Rugged Mobile Devices
Android is the new face of rugged mobile devices. Why? Microsoft ends support for its existing mobile OS family in 2020, and the launch of Windows 10 Mobile was a non-starter (lack of market interest led Microsoft to essentially end further development last year).
That leaves rugged mobile device users with a choice and an opportunity: Stick with a Windows platform with an uncertain future or transition to Android? Given that there will be development and software upgrade costs for either option, end users now have more flexibility to start fresh.
Sitting still won’t be an option for most users. After 202 (or 2021 for Windows Embedded Compact 7.0), Windows-based devices will receive no security patches, support, resolution for code issues, or new features. Customers maintaining legacy devices will also face potential Wi-Fi disconnections, a shortage of replacement parts, and a generally unfriendly user experience.
Android has emerged as a viable option for enterprise deployments thanks to a number of inherent advantages. Improvements to the platform and new enterprise-based features included in Android Enterprise have prompted rugged device manufacturers like Zebra Technologies to release a wide range of Android-based handhelds, tablets, and smartphone-like devices.
According to VDC Research, Android’s share of the mobile device space reached 37 percent in 2016, up from 24. In the mobile device space at large, Android now holds upward of 86 percent of the total market, according to data from IDC.
That rapid growth has further highlighted the advantages Android in the enterprise mobility space, including:
- All of the major enterprise mobility management (EMM) or mobile device management (MDM) solutions now support Android, which was not previously the case. This support had made it easer and faster to roll out new Android deployments with the same support and provisioning capabilities customers have come to expect.
- The platform is open source. This makes it much easier to create greater levels of customization when it comes to enterprise applications and features. In addition, there is a large network of Android developers and a robust market of existing business applications available.
- Your employees are already familiar with the Android interface. The bulk of smartphone users own an Android phone, which means they will be comfortable with these new rugged devices. That makes the applications easier to use, decrease worker training time, and leads to faster and less disruptive deployments.
- Android provides the flexibility for hardware vendors to create innovative form factors. Rugged Android devices can offer full-screen options, software keypads the enable new interface options, and even physical/tactile keyboards for certain applications.
- Tools like Zebra LifeGuard for Android and Zebra Mobility Extensions (Mx) are available to add new layers of functionality and security to Android devices. This extends their lifecycle and improves the enterprise performance of the OS.
The Strategic Difference
Strategic Systems can help you modernize legacy applications to support new devices, and develop your next generation mobility strategies. These services can also help you to future-proof these new applications and platforms. These services include App virtualization to allow legacy Windows applications to run without modification on new mobile environments, user experience prototyping, and full app migration to redesign applications to run on Android OS.
To learn more about Strategic System’s OS migration strategy, our application migration services, and how they can help you refresh your old devices, please contact us.