GMS, what is it? How does it affect Android devices? Do you really need it? Chances are you’re reading this because those are all questions you have been asking yourself (either that or you’re subscribed to our newsletter). Over the next few blogs we aim to look at the history of the Android OS and break down its key areas to see how it compares against other operating systems. In this first part we will look at what GMS is and how it affects Android devices. We will also be looking at the facts about Google Mobile Services (GMS) in the Enterprise to help determine whether or not you really need it.
MobileWorxs adds Unitech Mobile Devices to its Range
When an enterprise has numerous mission-critical handheld devices deployed across their operation and a technology refresh is needed, a change-over strategy is key to the successful roll-out of new devices to minimise disruptions in the supply chain.
10 Things you Didn’t Know About the Seuic AUTOID9 Android Handheld
Seuic AUTOID9 Android Handheld Terminal is a classic high performance in premise Android PDA that is used in various industries. The design is based on backlit physical keys and a touch screen which is practical comfortable and easy to operate. AUTOID9 can fully meet the requirements of industrial and warehousing installations for stability and durability.
10 Facts about the Cruise 1 Rugged Smartphone That Will Amaze you! Calling mobile workers in all marketplaces here are 10 facts about the Cruise 1 Rugged Smartphone logistics, transport, shipping…! Ever wondered how much easier it would be to work with your own personal smartphone? The latest addition to the MobileWorxs array of handheld […]
MobileWorxs add Seuic Android Handheld to Portfolio
When an enterprise has numerous mission-critical handheld devices deployed across their operation and a technology refresh is needed a change over strategy is key to a successful roll-out of the new devices so as not to cause disruptions in the supply chain. It is also important to ensure that mobile workers are familiar with the new technology and that any new software apps are thoroughly tested.
Many companies are considering replacing their aging Microsoft PDA based devices and migrating to Android across their supply chains before the Windows Mobile OS end of life deadline at the end of 2019. MobileWorxs have added the Seuic Rugged Android Handheld and Tablet range to the product portfolio to give users a viable replacement option that combines affordability, quality and reliability Seuic will be incorporated into our sales support and workshop capabilities.
China has the world’s largest manufacturing, e-commerce and logistics industries, and is also the largest market for barcode and RFID mobile computers. Seuic has high sales volume across 25 countries. As a result, we can benefit from the cost advantages of Seuic’s scalable production and help our users be more productive in their supply chain.
MobileWorxs will initially focus on three products with more to come soon. These include the Seuic Cruise 1, which is a rugged smartphone suitable for field service, delivery and store operations. The Autoid 9, a rugged key-based PDA, will be a great drop-in replacement for legacy Windows mobile users in the general, as well as logistics and manufacturing industries. The Autoid Pad is a small tablet with a horizontal focus across many industry sectors.
Get in touch to see how we can assist by doing an audit of your Windows Mobile assets and preparing an easy-to-adopt Android migration path that is affordable to deploy across the entire supply chain.
Dealing With Microsoft Windows CE OS End of Life
One of the most important operating systems that at one time underpinned many enterprise mobility deployments is about to enter the last phase of its life. So how do you go about dealing with Microsoft Windows CE OS End of Life ?
Long before iOS and Android Microsoft announced Windows CE in 1996. The OS was designed to operate satisfactorily on the small memory capacities of palm sized devices at the time. Although recognised by many as targeted at hand held computers many platforms ended up using derivatives of CE.
In the enterprise mobility market Windows CE, Windows Mobile, and Pocket PC are often used interchangeably this is in no doubt in part due to their common origin. This practice is not entirely accurate. You can read more about the history of Windows “CE” here. and Windows “Mobile” here.
Windows CE Legacy
A roll call of key Windows CE based devices used in the enterprise would generate a blog post of epic length. These are three of our favourite devices that were sold in large quantities all across the world into a variety of application areas including Manufacturing T&L and Retail,
A faltering mobile OS business hurt Microsoft for many years, although popular in the enterprise due to high adoption market appropriate hardware and plentiful development tools. Versions of the OS for phones had been losing market share since 2007.
End of an Era Key Dates
These EoL dates have been trailed by Microsoft for some time.
Windows Embedded CE 6.0 went EoL in June of 2018
June 2019 – Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld
January 2020 – Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
So What Comes Next
For many users this will be something to discuss with their software vendor. The coming Microsoft Windows CE OS end of life may make little difference if the devices are working and no major system upgrades are planned. However patch support will cease and as hardware itself becomes EoL and developer resource dries up it will be time to move on to something else. What that is very much depends on your circumstances, there is no one sized fits all approach. In a straight swap the main options for many sites are clearly Android a traditional rugged tablet on Windows 10 or a Microsoft Surface. Some may consider iOS but it has its drawbacks when it comes to device management.
Don’t let the Microsoft Windows CE OS End of Life get the better of your operation. Call us to discuss how we can help you weigh up the options and plan for the future.
How To Manage The Transition From MEAP TO MADP
What is A MADP – Mobile Application Development Platform
MADP refers to an inclusive group of products and services that allow mobile applications for the Enterprise to be developed. Think of MADP as different from the traditional app development tools. Enterprise Mobility generates unique challenges that are different from those faced in the development of consumer mobile solutions.
MEAP to MADP So what..?
MEAP has been around for a while and can usually be characterised as an interface with existing back end systems to enable data and applications on mobile devices. Whilst popular they were often a jumbled set of “parts” for developers to cobble together with custom code, leading to time-consuming and costly development projects. Headaches teams undertaking B2B enterprise grade app development could do without. In contrast the MADP helps to build a set of common features and services that can be leveraged in mission critical apps for integration to multiple platforms in a “we need it yesterday” business environment.
MADP Platform Selection Essentials
- Single skill set that client developers can adopt and use.
- Support for devices to work in network disconnected mode.
- Make use of dynamic data.
- Well proven barcode thermal print and GPS support.
- Built in Mobile Device Management – MDM
- Desktop console to manage the entire system.
- Simple to deploy and integrate.
Pick a Highly Regarded MADP Supplier
Our partner MobileFrame has been recognized in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms MADP
We have been working with MobileFrame for 10 years providing clients with mobile apps tailored to their unique workflow. MobileFrame is a leading code-free mobile application development platform that includes everything a company needs to ensure that their mobility projects run smoothly. With MobileFrame technology, companies can give their field force the apps they need on the devices they love. Even the most complex applications can be written once and simultaneously deployed to any iOS, Android and Windows based device.
In their sum up Gartner says that, “if you don’t already use a MADP, evaluate and deploy one as a cornerstone product supporting your mobile development strategy, especially if your organization is starting to develop and deploy mobile apps at high volume (for example, more than six apps per year).”
“We’re proud to maintain and build upon a strong and loyal customer base committed to supporting us in identifying areas of core strength and further growth. Our client testimonials speak to MobileFrame’s ability to deliver better time to market and ease of use through our platform”, said Lonny Oswalt, Chief Executive Officer, MobileFrame.
Read the entire MobileFrame Press Release about this prestigious award.
To receive a complimentary copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant click here.
To learn more get in touch with us to arrange a webinar or meeting about MobileFrame MADP.
How Mobile Devices Capture High Resolution Images
A smartphone with a 16mp autofocus rear camera, 8mp front camera, and recording in 1080p or UHD 4K is becoming somewhat the norm. This is mainly on the case on the consumer side rather than enterprise, but the enterprise is following suit. A typical old school Windows Mobile MC67 for example has an 8MP rear camera.
Windows Mobile devices are somewhat limited here as the 32mb RAM allowance means large images and videos will probably crash the unit. This is where iOS, Android, Windows 8.1 or 10 for the Enterprise are key.
Giving the end user the ability to capture media in high resolution is a big plus point. Images of completed works, or videos problem areas can be highlighted in detail. But at what cost?
Cost!? Surely a high res image is better than a low res image? Agreed, but what is the cost of transmitting a 16mp image, or a 30 second 1080p video? A 16MP image is roughly 5MB, one visit can require 1-10 images for example. Worst case of 10 images, that is 50MB of data. A 30 second video clip in 1080p is about 210MB (other file types may be increase file size considerably.) UHD 4K would be even bigger.
If the device is 4G compatible uploads speeds are very fast @ 8MBps, 3G considerably slower 0.4MBps, under 3G it becomes a big issue. 4G would take about 30 seconds if a good connection.
210MBps video file / 0.4MBps upload speed = Nearly 9 minutes to upload. That assumes a solid constant connection for the full nine minutes. Driving to/from jobs means the signal will strengthen/weaken or stop altogether.
Why Capture High Resolution Images
The purpose of real-time mobile applications is to receive the results back in real-time, no delays, immediate billing cycles customer records instantly updated etc. If working in large cities with a good 4G presence this may work fine, if uploading images over Wi-Fi only this is also a solution, but not real-time in the majority of cases.
Consider if a 16mp image is actually required. Would a 5mp image suffice? On a PDF report to the customer the image will be scaled down anyway. Smaller file sizes improve the mobile connection speed and increase the probability of real-time communication, as well as greatly reducing the storage requirements on the back-end.
So What is Unified Endpoint Management
If you could not make it to Facilities Management show in Birmingham today here is the presentation we did with Hannah from SOTI “So What is Unified Endpoint Management”
Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2015
Enterprise Mobility is all about increasing productivity and generating a return on investment Vs other demands in the business. Keeping on top of whats hot in the sector can make a huge difference to project performance and longevity. So what do we think will be the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2015 ?
1.Tablets take on Laptops
As users started to use their “entertainment” tablet for work use some thought that Laptops would simply get wiped out and Tablet sales would continue to rise. IDC commented that 2014 saw Tablet sales growth slow year on year to 7.2% from 52.5% in the previous year. It looks like the Tablet replacement cycle may be as long as Laptops – or even longer. The rationale seems to be that once a tablet is found to be good at doing whatever it is doing there is no need to replace it. Although slowing it is expected that Tablet adoption will overtake PC’s in 2015 according to Gartner.
We doubt that laptops are going the way of LaserDisc or fax machine anytime soon. In the enterprise this means more possibilities for remote users to blur the lines between having a rugged PDA for line of business apps Vs a keyboard based device for more white collar productivity tasks. Although not suitable in every scenario we see more people using Tablets or Hybrid devices to replace the main computer in their lives.
2. R.I.P. Windows Embedded 6.5 … again
It has been coming for some time and without question a large number of enterprise mobility deployments ran on Android rather than Windows Embedded 6.5 in 2014. When Motorola Solutions the Gorilla in the sector gets acquired by Zebra it is a good sign that things have changed forever.
There are large numbers of users on this platform especially in the retail supply chain and T&L markets. So plenty of incentive in 2015 if you are a vendor coming from a different part of the market and a real headache for legacy manufacturers defending these accounts. Expect to see heavyweights like Panasonic in more traditionally “hand held” scenarios following the launch of their FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 devices.
3. Android Battles
Gartner says sales of smartphones grew 20 percent in the third quarter of 2014 in emerging markets were flat in Europe and up in the US. Growth is characterised by the continuing rise of Chinese Android brands and the narrowing of the difference in cost between feature phones and low cost smartphones. Gartner expects sales of smartphones to reach @1.9 billion devices world wide in 2014.
Low cost offerings like the Tesco Hudl and a slew of no-name rugged brands come with little or no real “enterprise grade” operational or break fix support. We believe organisations with more users will deploy solutions from major vendors such Samsung who recently launched the Tab Active an IP67 Android based inexpensive rugged tablet.
4. Windows Tablet
What about Microsoft…? Being late has characterised Microsoft in recent years. In the rugged space OEM’s using the embedded 6.5 and desktop Windows OS have taken a beating as many users moved to less costly devices that did not run a Microsoft OS. It finally got its act together with Windows 8.1. We predict more innovative and lower cost designs like the xTablet Flex 8 to beat off the opposition – but it will be tough.
5. Enterprise Mobility Management EMM – Fact or Fiction ?
Without doubt Fact ! In many organisations BYOD has been characterised by not being embraced by IT as fast as it is by employees wanting to access corporate data with their own devices. Turning the provision of mobility to white and blue collar workers into a competitive asset means aligning what may be formal and informal BYOD arrangements. Using device management as a method in security, application and financial management mobility scenarios is really the only way we see this happening
Carl Rodrigues CEO of SOTI commented “As global businesses establish and scale their mobility strategies, they can rely on our solution to manage smartphones, tablets and purpose-built mobile devices in addition to PCs, laptops and peripherals, from a singlepane of glass, no matter the operating system”
6. Apps Devices And The Long Tail
What if your SME enterprise does not have access to in house IT or the budget to fund a traditional enterprise mobility project ?
The good news is that many businesses already have competent devices in the form of SmartPhones or Tablets. Plus more line of business apps are deliverable via the cloud on a subscription basis. This will allow businesses to run a project with little up front cost that addresses how to increase internal productivity and deploy it with an excellent ROI.
7. Barcode Scanning Goes Mainstream
Barcode Scanning has been around for decades and is considered to be the founding element of the Internet of Things. There are plenty of Android and iOS apps to allow your SmartPhone to scan using its camera. This is ok for ad hoc use but when higher frequency scanning is required a sled like the Honeywell Captuvo or separate Bluetooth scanner such as models form Socket are much more ergonomic to use. With the adoption of more SmartPhones and Tablets in the enterprise without integral scanning we anticipate seeing more of these in use next year.
If you supply the coffee we can bring our crystal ball to your office to discuss the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2015 that may impact your project.