Enterprise Mobile Applications Screen Size and Keyboard

Enterprise Mobile Applications Screen Size and Keyboard

X3 PDA with mobile application
Nautiz-X3 Rugged Handheld with Integral Keyboard

The complexity and nature of a mobile application can often dictate the physical size and type of the mobile device you buy. The enterprise mobile applications screen size and keyboard input method is an important element of your total cost of ownership calculations

Consider the environment the device will be used in. What is the likelihood a device is accidentally knocked or dropped? A rugged device will long out last a Smartphone if it is dropped more than once.  Will the device be used indoor or outdoor? The perceived brightness of a screen can change from device to device and a high brightness screen will make outdoor readability much clearer. Other environment factors include if the user will be wearing gloves in which case a stylus or keyboard may be required.

Keyboards are an important choice frequently over looked if the mobile application requires any text input. A Smartphone onscreen keyboard is usually touch only and they can sometimes be very fiddly. Touch only is no good if the operator has dirty fingers or wears gloves. The next step up is a stylus on a PDA. The on screen ‘soft’ keyboard can be a bit difficult to use due to it’s small size. Rugged PDAs like the Motorola MC65 or Handheld Nautiz X3 come as standard with either a QWERTY or numeric keyboard. These are quick and easy to use. If the application only requires numerical input this numerical keyboard will save valuable time from switching to alpha characters.

Moving towards a full keyboard the on screen “soft” keyboard on our own T7000 Windows 7 Tablet is both quick and easy to use with finger or stylus, and also comes with a handy numeric keyboard built in. Other options at the full size keyboard level are to use a snap-on keyboard, connect a USB keyboard or consider a rugged laptop like the Handheld XRW with full size keyboard.

Another high priority is the screen size. A tablet screen of 7” will be able to display much more than a  2.8” Smartphone or PDA or rugged handheld screen. The application experience is enhanced by having more information on screen at any one time and fewer screens means quicker app completion. Other advantages also include the ability to increase text size for poor sighted users and display full screen images, PDFs and documents. But putting this is a pocket may be difficult hence the continuing attraction of phone size devices. Although a few years old this is still a great guide.

If additional requirements include the use of other software such as MS Office, mapping software service manuals PDF guides then a larger screen would be paramount.

The key question is: How the application will look and feel to the mobile worker should put screen and keyboard considerations at the top of your list of hardware requirements?

To find out more about how we can help you with pondering these issues please get in touch sales@mobileworxs.com or call 44 1905 799555

Key Benefits of a Enterprise Mobile App Development Environment

Key Benefits of a Enterprise Mobile App Development Environment

What are the Key Benefits of a Enterprise Mobile App Development Environment? InfoWorld picked 10 Heavy-Duty Tools for Mobile App Development to highlight the tools available for those seeking to build feature rich enterprise grade apps.

So why have these environments become so popular? In our case we have been using MobileFrame for some years to help users gain a competitive advantage by replacing inefficient and error-prone paper forms with automated mobile solutions that boost productivity and increase revenue. Our code-free enterprise mobility platform enables businesses to easily create deploy and administer sophisticated custom mobile applications. An intuitive point & click desktop eliminates time-consuming and expensive custom coding and includes all the testing and management tools necessary for a successful mobility project for your business on devices using:

  • Windows Mobile 5/6/6.5
  • Windows XP/Vista/7
  • HTML 5 browsers such as IE Chrome Safari and Firefox as well as for Android, BlackBerry and iOS products such as iPhone and iPad.

Get your App in the Field Faster and at Lower Cost

Our goal is to help you get ahead of your ROI return on investment and get your app created and in the field in less time with less effort and at lower cost than traditional methods. Our approach allows the creation of any number of custom process specific mobile apps that can all be tailored specifically to your business processes.

Learn more about the features and key benefits of a enterprise mobile app development environment. Get in touch to experience our apps.

New xTablet T7200 Rugged Tablet PC

New xTablet T7200 Rugged Tablet PC

T7200

The NEW xTablet T7200 rugged tablet PC is a multi-functioning rugged handheld  with 4G LTE and 3G Gobi 3000 connectivity options and features the innovative new xView Pro™ sunlight readable display technology. It offers the functionality of a notebook full connectivity and the portability of a rugged handheld device.

 

Our objective -continue to deliver significantly superior performance and return on investment ROI over traditional PDA’s used in enterprise mobility deployments.

NEW xTablet T7200 rugged tablet PC is IP65 rated and offers a built-in numeric keypad, optional bar code scanner, 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and optional 4G LTE or 3G Gobi 3000 radio WWAN connectivity. Units will initially ship with Windows 7 Professional and the all new supercharged Intel® Atom processor with dual core provides 2.35 times better CPU performance and 3.93 times better disk performance to handle graphic intensive applications at a lower cost than other high-end processors. Check out the specs.

Bright xView Pro Screen

T7200 features the new xView Pro display technology which not only significantly conserves battery life offers enhanced viewing in bright sunlight to help field workers be more productive.

Upper left: Indoors. Upper right: Shaded area outdoors. Lower left: In bright indirect sunlight. Lower right: Direct sunlight.

Read the Rugged PC Review Article

The versatility of the xTablet T7200 make it a great investment on a lease and ideal for users in any environment considering rugged handheld deployments including agriculture transport and logistics, field service, facilities management, van sales, retail supply chain, manufacturing, warehousing military and public sector.

T7200 has a huge range of accessories to make the rugged tablet PC easier to use in the field.

How can NEW xTablet T7200 rugged tablet PC help in your Enterprise Mobile deployment ? – try one FREE for 10 days.

Windows 8 in the Mobile Enterprise

Windows 8 release – Impact On the Mobile Enterprise

Windows is Windows right!? Each version has had some level of backwards compatibility so you can run an app built for XP on Vista or 7, or in the mobile enterprise Windows Mobile 5 on 6.5, give or take a few tweaks depending how the application was designed. Windows 8 will be the same?

Microsoft Windows 8At the moment it’s difficult to know exactly how Windows 8 will perform, especially when looking at the mobile market for WOA (Windows on ARM), which is mobile devices running Windows 8 on ARM processors. This is because the hardware isn’t available yet. Manufacturers are hard at work creating hardware from scratch up just for WOA.

The devices themselves will share a wide amount of commonality with the full Windows 8 Desktop OS, bridging the gap between the two, but with the aim of the best of both worlds. That is combining the reduced footprint of Mobile with the features of a desktop OS. But the issue here is there will be no third party desktop applications. Applications have to go through the store, which become Metro (design language Windows 8 is based upon).

Rugged PDAs running Windows Mobile 6.5 may have to stay on Windows Mobile 6.5 for a while longer. Embedded versions of Windows Phone 7/8 are in the Microsoft road map later in the year but with no release dates the Mobile Enterprise market may have to wait. Not confirmed, but Windows may move away from the Compact Framework in the next release. Until Microsoft do confirm this there is little point worrying about it, but if they do it may mean challenges for a huge host of major players in the Mobile Enterprise.

Looking more at the Windows 8 platform as a whole, it is a cross device platform all linked via a Windows Live account. This means your “Live” content should be accessible from any Windows 8 device. Keeping the same OS layout over multiple devices will mean overall ease of use when switches between form factor.

Windows 8 32-bit & 64-bit based offerings on Intel/AMD will be released around October. Intel are currently working on optimising their processors to work with Windows 8 tablet machines.

Applications that were previously installed on Windows 7 can be installed in Windows 8 using the desktop – There are two types of GUI, the metro style block apps and the standard Windows Desktop. If already using Windows 7, a jump to Windows 8 shouldn’t be too much of a struggle. It should be an improvement.

At the moment it seems the Mobile Enterprise won’t be affected until the new release of Windows Mobile is launched. Microsoft’s goal appears to be taking some of the tablet market Apple & Samsung have dominated.

The key question is: As Android starts to become a consideration in the Enterprise market, is it worth waiting to see what Microsoft come out with and stay on Windows Mobile 6.5?

Mobile Application Development Platform Vs Traditional Coding – Deployment

Mobile Application Development Platform Vs Traditional Coding – Deployment

Use Apps on Any Device

Implementing a project from a written specification using traditional coding methods like C# and VB.NET is one issue that we can overcome by using our Mobile Application Development Platform. Deploying a project is the next problem !

 

 

Deploying applications when using coding methods like C#, and some other available platform tools requires the compiled application along with all drivers like barcode readers, 3G comms camera and mobile printers to be manually loaded onto the device. This isn’t necessarily an issue for the initial deployment but what happens when the application requires an update? The customer purchases new hardware? Or updates the operating system?

In almost all cases the application need to be edited by the software house re-tested and then the devices need to come in from the field to be refreshed with the updated software. This takes time and eats resources not to mention losing money while the devices are no in the field and takes control away from the customer. There are additional tools available to assist with remotely deploying files to a device but they can be expensive and the software cannot be in use while the update takes place.

This is another area where MobileFrame excels. Our mobile application development platform like all other software does require an initial install but includes all of the drivers required. Once the software is installed the device can stay in the field. When the user logs in any applications and data assigned to the user will automatically be synchronized with the device. Because the customer can be trained how to use MobileFrame they can create edit and maintain applications in house. These updated or new applications can then be instantly deployed and managed to the devices in the field in real time over 3G/Wi-Fi. The next time the user selects the application the updated version will be loaded.

Simple tasks such as changing a logo altering the layout of report print out of a PDF adding a column to a table can all be implemented tested and deployed in a matter of minutes. Compare this to traditional methods and the same change will no longer be a ‘simple’ change.

The key question is: As the business grows and changes, there will need to be updates to the mobile application. What level of cost and downtime is acceptable?

5 Reasons to Add GPS Tracking to your Enterprise Mobility App

5 Reasons to Add GPS Tracking to your Enterprise Mobility App

If you add GPS Tracking to your Enterprise Mobility App your team can derive valuable real-time insight into the location and status of your field workers. Weather your routes are fixed or change daily such knowledge can strengthen your organization allowing quicker response times to customer requests and changing conditions in the field. As well as addressing efficiencies around in field costs of labour fuel and the vehicle itself.

In the last few years we have seen ever more integration of GPS into mobile technology. If you are still catching up with the technology this is a great primer.

By building Google Map based tracking right into the mobile application development process allows us to provide you with even more enterprise mobile functionality such as:

1. Increase Productivity and Efficiency

Add more jobs to the work day by ensuring that employees are operating efficiently. Workers who know they are being monitored will follow guidelines and take more direct routes to jobs/stops. Correct mobile worker inefficiencies by being able to offer better coaching of their travel. Generate reports on driver activity.

2. Improve Customer Service

Respond instantly to customer questions and requests. Use GPS tracking to see every mobile worker on a single map and route the nearest worker to job sites. Resolve customer disputes related to arrival time service duration and service location.

3. Lower Costs

Tracking employee movement in the field prevents excessive idling and personal use of company assets while making sure workers stick to pre-determined routes. Workers who know they are being monitored tend to change their work patterns to fit agreed guidelines.

4. Enhance Safety & Security

Track unsafe habits, instantly locate field workers and send help if they are stranded or in trouble. Receive automated alerts when workers violate safety and/or security policies.

5. Liability Protection & Theft Recovery

Have real time knowledge of your entire workforce location. Eliminate non-work related stops, track and remotely operate lost or stolen devices to assist the police in recovery of stolen devices.

Deciding to add GPS Tracking to your Enterprise Mobility is a great way to further enhance an enterprise mobility deployment.

If you would like to augment an app you already have we have a number of GPS peripherals that can help you re-boot your existing installation and get some productivity gains.

5 Reasons to Add GPS Tracking to your Enterprise Mobility App

To learn more get in touch with us to arrange a webinar or meeting about MobileFrame MADP.

 

Rugged Tablet PC Improves Decision Making in Motor Racing

Rugged Tablet PC Improves Decision Making in Motor Racing

In motor sport series around the world teams suppliers and organisers are turning to the T7000 rugged tablet PC to help speed up decision making.

Racing strategy is based on data and all data in motor racing is time critical. Monitoring car performance can mean the difference between a podium finish or catching a potential race ending issue early enough to do something about it.

 

Our rugged tablet PC products are being used to to collect and distribute critical car performance and equipment data in real-time to speed decision making at the track. Instead of pen and paper or a whiteboard timing and scoring data direct from the tablet provides the pit lane spotter with information to assist the driver throughout practices and on race day. Fuel consumption information allows the team to provide data to the race engineer in real time. Integrated bar code scanners can assist the tyre specialist in organizing race tyres through practice and the weekend.

NASCAR Racing Red Bull Racing Team specialist Mike Motil says, “During one race the tyre wear information literally made the weekend. We pitted after 79 laps. The right front tyre was completely gone. The wear was that extreme. In this instance the T7000 rugged tablet PC provided real-time data that kept the car on the track as long as possible without risking injury to the driver or damage to the vehicle. Watch the Video.

The T7000 offers your motor sport race crew an opportunity to automate data collection before and during a race thus speeding up the sharing of information for quicker decision making. Rugged construction PC grade processing power and ease of use all combine to help save that most precious racing commodity – time!

Read the Red Bull Racing Case Study

The T7000 is a tough Ip65 rugged tablet PC built to withstand use outside. It comes with the Intel Atom chipset and Windows 7 operating system as well as Wi-Fi Bluetooth GPS and 3G WWAN and a whole range of accessories to make the it easier to use in the field. Teams can utilise their own desktop/browser apps or choose to use our mobile platform to build a host of applications from inventory control to data input and analysis.

The key point is that great decision making often comes from the availability of swift data and in this respect Motor Sport is no different to any other business. The ability to process data in a manner that does not add time and complexity to the process can give you the edge increase productivity and save money. Try one Free for 10 days and find out how one could help you.

Mobile Application Development Platform Vs Traditional Coding – Timescales

Mobile Application Development Platform Vs Traditional Coding – Timescales

Ever since Mobile Application Development Platforms were introduced software houses and traditional programmers using VB.NET, C# and similar have referred to them as somehow inferior. This couldn’t be further from the truth when using our own mobile application development platform – MobileFrame.

When it comes to mobile application development the enterprise mobility industry has come up with a variety of approaches and many software options.  Some approaches require full coding some go halfway reducing the amount required. MobileFrame is a full feature rich platform which requires NO coding. This makes it possible for an organisation undertaking a mobility project to manage the whole process of application design development deployment and management in house.

There is no limitation when creating applications when using MobileFrame. Granted you could create similar applications in C# or another tool but the timescales would be much longer which means increased costs for development and testing.

Typical Proof of Delivery Development Times

Let’s compare MobileFrame against C# and other tools for a simple POD application. The app will integrate with a back-end customer system, pull across customer and parcel details and deploy data to a PDA user. The application will select the job, scan the parcels, ask for a signature and name, capture GPS location, print a receipt send the completed job to over 3G and update the back end customer DB. Using C# this could take 24 weeks or more to churn out using another mobile development platform tool it could take 8 weeks or more. Using MobileFrame we are confident this would take 1-2 weeks including all development testing and deployment.

And the above timescale estimates are only for one target device i.e. a tablet running Windows 7. What happens when the same application is required on a PDA running Windows Mobile? Or accessible via a web browser for remote workers without a dedicated device?

In short the answer for a software house is they would have to start over again minus a few parts as they are different technologies. This could triple the development timescales and blow away any Total Cost of Ownership TCO calculations.

Using our mobile application development platform the same application can have multiple target devices so it is just a case of moving around the layout to fit the screen size. If one application for a Windows 7 tablet PC takes 1-2 weeks, add 1-2 days and you could have the application running on a PDA and a web browser for iOS or Android.

The key question is: having identified a business process that is causing a problem how will your mobile application development options look a few years down the road? Choose a platform that gives you ultimate flexibility or continually use IT budget to make changes?

 

8 Cool Features Mobile Application Development

8 Cool Features Mobile Application Development

Mobile Application Development on MobileFrame version 5.1 has a number of groundbreaking features including:

Create Mobile Apps that Match Your Business Processes
  1. HTML 5 Application Development. Now our customers can not only create Smart Client Apps with no coding for .NET but also HTML 5 Web Apps that work on any iOS or Android device and any browser.
  2. Web Mobile Application Development.  Create sophisticated web portals with absolutely no coding. The Thin Client Server solves several common web app implementation issues including cross browser compatibility, security and authentication, and Active Directory support. These web applications can be utilized in any setting, including data collection, management dashboards reports viewing and customer portals.
  3. Swiping and Gesture Support. Device level software now includes built-in swiping and gesture support.
  4. Desktop Changes. The entire product has a new look and feel including improved navigation, clearer fonts and several other usability improvements.
  5. Mobile Device Management. In addition to a full complement of device and user management capabilities administrators now have the ability to cancel running applications remotely.
  6. The Grid. The grid functionality has been re-written to support function buttons, images, touch scrolling, per cell formatting, improved style editing and includes several performance enhancements.
  7. Built in Instant Messaging for snappy worker to worker communications. Unlike other vertical market solutions, our platform allows enterprises to create any custom mobile apps needed all tailored specifically to their unique business processes.
  8. Create Charts for Management Dashboards. Every management team needs the ability to analyze their business with live data to make critical decisions. Data can be displayed on a web dashboard and presented in any manner that suits your needs, including bar charts and pie charts etc. The ability to know how many work orders are on hold for parts sales were closed deliveries were made or inspections were completed that day can help management steer the company in the right direction in real-time. Charts can be displayed not only on the web but on the mobile worker’s device on printed receipts and embedded in PDF reports.

We have been crafting apps with the MobileFrame Mobile Application Development platform since 2007.  Customers enjoy a low total cost of ownership great flexibility in rapidly changing times and the outstanding return on investment when compared to other application development methods.

The platform has won many MobileVillage Star Awards over the last decade.

Get in touch to experience our apps.

Rugged Tablet PC and Agriculture Crop Management

Rugged Tablet PC and Agriculture Crop Management

 

Successful crop management is a complex blend of the right horticultural expertise soil conditions fertilizers and irrigation methods. The use of mobile data solutions in agriculture is increasing. As mAgriculture grows farmers and agricultural specialists rely more on mobile devices to calculate and store information required in the office and in the field. When equipped with the proper features rugged tablet computers can make the job of crop management easier and more cost-effective and ultimately help farmers maximize their yield. A situation true in every farming region.

Typical uses:

Rugged Tablet PC and Agriculture Crop ManagementSoil Sampling: Soil samples determine the density of nutrients the presence of harmful toxins and the ability of water and soil to permeate to the roots of crops. Farmers and field personnel can gather soil samples and log pertinent information into rugged tablet PCs on the spot without having to scribble handwritten notes for later data entry. Results can be integrated with existing databases allowing for a complete compilation of soil information throughout an entire region.

Diseases: The spread of disease can devastate an entire crop. Rugged PC data systems allow for rapid analyses of past disease outcroppings, while revealing how much of a given field was impacted by a current blight.

Mapping: Mapping a given stretch of land identifies countless issues important to crop management such as:

  • Prevalence of weeds in specific areas
  • Patterns of runoff and water pooling
  • Effects of weather on the crop yield.

Rugged tablet PCs allow for easy on-site data entry permitting quick creation of viable maps and instant map sharing with relevant team members.

Harvest Data: A rugged computer system can quickly integrate important data from a harvest such as yield of hybrid crops versus earlier strains the effectiveness of new fertilizers and the ability of fallow soil to support crops. After assisting with data analysis a rugged tablet PC will allow multiple people to collaborate on data without losing track of critical information.

Equipment used in the field on a daily basis must be tough and come with accessories that make the device easy to use. Crop management may involve taking soil samples in the winter, when temperatures plunge well below zero or checking water filtration data in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. Mobile devices are often dropped and may be subject to a range of vibrations and unexpected impacts. A high-performance tablet PC need to endure each of these rigors while functioning for hours ensuring that users have access to them at all times.

The two key points for using a Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture is Durability and the ability to process data in a manner that does not add time and complexity to the process. Try one Free for 10 days and find out how one could help you.

Rugged Tablet PC and Agriculture Crop Management