lifeguard for android

How Zebra’s LifeGuard for Android™ Can Extend Mobile Device Life Cycles up to 10 Years

Android is rapidly becoming the standard OS for the enterprise, with 72 percent of all enterprise rugged handheld devices expected to ship with Android by this year.

That’s the latest figure from our technology partners at Zebra Technologies, who’ve been working with Google and companies around the world to switch from Windows mobile to Android.

Back in 2011, Zebra started working on this strategy in response to Microsoft’s waning support for enterprise mobility. As Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android exploded onto the consumer market and also made rapid gains among enterprise users, Microsoft made a series of missteps that alienated many enterprise mobile customers.

First, with the release of Windows Embedded Handheld version 7, Microsoft’s mobile platform stopped supporting many of the devices, screen sizes, and form factors that companies use for mobile workflows. If they upgraded to version 7, they would have to replace their mobile devices.

Later, with Windows Embedded Handheld version 8, Microsoft stopped offering extended support. Once the standard support period ended, companies would no longer get OS and security updates.

To make matters worse, Microsoft’s latest mobile OS, Windows 10 IoT, doesn’t offer a direct upgrade path from anything other than Windows Embedded Handheld 8 or 8.1.

These decisions led Zebra and other major hardware manufacturers to look elsewhere and partner with Google to develop an enterprise-grade mobile OS. Zebra has since developed well over 20 new mobile computers and tablets powered by its own version of Android, featuring the same familiar touch-screen interface of Android plus Zebra’s Mobility Extensions (Mx), which allow companies to control every device, app, connection, and user access.

Zebra’s Mx tools also allow companies to set up customized home screens, secure enterprise browsers, one-button barcode scanning and app workflows.

But one of the biggest concerns that companies have when deploying any new OS is how long they can expect to receive support and keep using their devices. Thankfully, Zebra has answered that concern with an ideal solution.

From a survey of over 3,000 partners, Zebra discovered that 58% of its end users expect their business mobile devices to remain in service for over five years. This is well beyond the typical three years of security support that Google offers for Android or the five years it provides in some cases.

However, Zebra’s LifeGuard for Android™, available for all Zebra Android devices, provides up to 10 years of guaranteed OS and security support. There’s a base support period of three, four or five years, depending on the device, but with a Zebra OneCare service contract, you can get up to five years of added security support, free of charge. That means you can extend the life and security of your devices for up to 10 years.

Zebra provides timely updates to address any new and emerging threats, and you don’t need to remember to check for updates. You can sign up for automated email notifications when a new update is available, and updates are easy to install with Android’s over-the-air Wi-Fi or cellular network process.

Zebra’s LifeGuard Analytics and Update dashboard can also tell you which of your devices are eligible and in need of updates, and you can monitor and manage update status in real time.

You can get all the details of the program in Zebra’s solution brief on LifeGuard for Android. You can also contact our team at Strategic Systems to get answers to your questions, learn more about Android, and determine the right OS for your mobile future.

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