The facts about Google Mobile Services (GMS) in the Enterprise

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.

 

What is GMS?

GMS is short for Google Mobile Services and essentially is all of the Google specific features that you see on Android devices. Google Maps, YouTube and the Play Store are just a few examples of GMS products which you are probably familiar with. GMS also brings in a bunch of integration tools and utilities for developers.

Most modern Android based consumer grade products such as smartphones, tablets and wearables will include GMS. You may have thought that GMS was simply a part of Android and was included as standard, after all Android is also owned by Google. However GMS is actually a separate product and unlike Android is not open source, instead it is closed source software that requires a license. This license requires both the device and its manufacturer to meet strict technical certification and obligations. This is just one of the ways that Google is able to make a profit out of Android.

Most manufacturers realise the value of GMS and include it on their consumer products, realistically a non GMS smartphone in this day would be considered pretty poor. Imagine the limitations of not being able to download apps, watch videos on YouTube and use maps. However there are a number of reasons why non-consumer grade products may benefit without GMS.

A selection of GMS apps and features:

The facts about Google Mobile Services (GMS) in the Enterprise

 

Why would you not want GMS?

As mentioned above the majority of consumer grade Android products will benefit from GMS, there is a few expectations with things like vehicle entertainment systems, television sets and devices that are not connected to the internet as they simply will not utilise the features of GMS. However when we look away from consumer grade products and focus on enterprise/ business use devices the situation is very different.

Without trying to make Google sound like some kind of evil cooperation there are a number of reasons why companies would prefer to keep GMS off of their devices, many of these reasons are around the privacy of data as GMS leaves a “backdoor” for Google into the device.

The facts about Google Mobile Services (GMS) in the Enterprise

GMS Issues for Enterprise customers

  • Privacy & security concerns – GMS periodically connects to Google’s servers, this is part of the user agreement that must be accepted in order to use a GMS enabled device. As you can probably imagine this puts off a lot of companies who do not want their potentially sensitive data being monitored.
  • Forced application and GMS software updates – This process not only uses extra resources (network bandwidth, device performance) but it can also leave apps in unknown state if bugs or issues are present in a newer version. Many companies like to test out updates before releasing them onto their fleet of devices as any issues can cause downtime which in turn leads to lost productivity and ultimately revenue.
  • Built in advertising engine and data profiling – This is again something that business customers want to avoid, it makes sense to collect user data of this sort on consumer devices as the end user may see actually benefits (targeted marketing.etc) However on a business level this is simply adding a unnecessary level data collection that will not benefit the user.
  • Play Store allows easy malware distribution – Many enterprise customers request that the Google Play Store is disable straight away on GMS devices as it allows any malicious applications to easily be downloaded and distributed across their device fleet. Again causing downtime, potentially sensitive data leaks and lost revenue.
  • Preinstalled Bloatware – GMS add 25+ mandatory apps that occupy 60-200 MB of RAM, the majority of which will never be utilised by enterprise customers.
  • Logistics overhead out of box – A GMS device requires additional steps for the initial setup of the device, this not only uses up valuable time but it also requires the user to have a Google account. What makes this even more challenging is the account cannot be shared across multiple devices which then creates a large admin task to setup the companies devices (imagine a fleet of 100+).
  • Mandatory welcome screen on first setup ­– Enterprise customers wanting to use rapid provisioning / staging tools will have to manually interact with every device before being able to proceed, again this creates a particular issue for large fleets.

 

GMS challenges for Enterprise vendors

On top of creating a list of issues for enterprise/ business users GMS also creates some challenges for device vendors and OEM’s. When paired with the above issues that GMS creates many vendors will simply opt out of bringing GMS to their devices. We are now seeing an increase in vendors who release GMS and non-GMS versions of the same device in order to satisfy a larger market, the vendor’s non-GMS versions must still be CTS compliant (see below).

The main challenge for vendors is around the certification and special licences that Google require :

Both the vendor and device must meet Google’s technical requirements and obligations – This can limit how the vendor can manufacturer and offer other devices, in some cases Google may restrict them from releasing a non-GMS version of the same device.

Device must pass compatibility test suite (CTS)

  • This test defines what device must do and must not do.
  • The CTS was not designed for enterprise use as it limits rapid deployments / staging, device management solutions and security.etc.

Limits vendors options for device customisation and market strategy – As covered in the customer limitations, vendors must comply to the Google out of box experience. This limits provisioning for rapid device deployment and creates a larger admin task for company IT departments.

Has a specific privacy policy – The vendor must have a Google ID and agreed for them to gather data and other information from the device.

Finally once a device has passed the above compatibility tests it can then be sent to a Google authorised centre for certification, this process can cost a considerable amount of money.

Can GMS be disabled?

So you’re probably now wondering whether or not GMS can be disabled. The good news is yes, however Google has not made it easy for users to do so.

The OEM is not allowed to add a toggle to disable GMS on the device, instead the customer is required to manually shut down all of the Google services which GMS utilises. This can take a significant amount of time especially when there are multiple devices to deal with.

Is it all bad?

Hopefully this information has helped to outline the facts about Google Mobile Services (GMS) in the Enterprise, clear up any questions that you may have had and help you to decide whether or not you really need GMS when looking for a device. We would like to make it clear that GMS definitely has its place in the Android world, for now at least it just seems better suited to consumer grade devices. However there are obviously a number of instances where enterprise customers may want some of the GMS features:

  • Smaller businesses who are not as concerned about the Google privacy policy, account requirements and advertising.
  • Customers who use one or more applications from the Google Play Store and prefer the ability to download, update and manage their content through GMS.
  • Companies who will not be affected by the manual setup of each device (usually those who have the resources on hand to deal with the initial setup).

 

The facts about Google Mobile Services (GMS) in the Enterprise

If you have any questions about GMS, Android or a particular device then get in touch to speak with an expert.

New Large Format Rugged Tablet

New Large Format Rugged Tablet

Goodbye old friend ! our best selling T1600 has had a hardware boost and has turned it into a new large format rugged tablet. The T1680.

For the first time we are offering the latest  8th-generation Intel Intel Core i5-8250U processors with double cache resulting in a huge increase in performance. giving users more computing power regardless of whatever environment their work takes them to.

T1680 is built on a 11.6″ (29.4 cm) Full HD display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and a nit rating of 500, standard 8GB of DDR4-2,400GHz memory, which can be expanded to up to 16GB. Standard storage is a 256GB SSD drive 512GB SSDs are also available

We’ve also doubled both the RAM and solid-state drive storage, while providing the newest generation of WWAN & WLAN/BT.  The 8M camera (standard) on the back will produce higher resolution images than ever before.

It’s still light easy to carry and mountable using a variety of our docking systems.  The T1680 is perfect for many industries and applications including field service, logistics, warehousing, manufacturing and blue light applications.

Built Tough

T1680 is built tough to meet the most exacting of requirements.  Including IP65 ratings and MIL-STD-810G certifications for resistance to drops, shocks, vibration and dust.

Power to Go

Shipping as standard with a 45Wh 4130 mAh hot swap battery good for around 7 hours or the optional XL 86Wh 7,800 mAh XL battery for even longer shifts!

Enterprise Grade Computing

A new large format rugged tablet such as T1680 are not acquired for life in the boardroom so it is packed with features that will create an excellent ROI in any business. 2MP front and 5MP rear cameras two USB 3.0 ports, audio jack, an SDXC card slot, a 41-pin docking connector Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 9260  Support 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5. Optional desk and vehicle docks integral barcode scanner RFID and Sierra 4G modules.

Leasing & Support

Acquire your T1680 via a flexible 36 Month lease that can include many aspects of your project such as device management. 3 Year return to depot warranty, optional accidental damage cover. Lifetime access to the MobileWorxs helpdesk.

New Large Format Rugged Tablet New Large Format Rugged Tablet

So goodbye to T1600 hello to T1680 get in touch to arrange a demo or learn more about our new large format rugged tablet.

How to Pick an Android Phone for The Gig Economy

How to Pick an Android Phone for The Gig Economy

 

With text overlay How to Pick an Android Phone for The Gig Economy

If you are considering doing full or part time driving or delivery work you will get around to considering how to pick an Android phone for the gig economy

What Do You Need?

When you join Amazon Flex and many other Gig economy driver or delivery schemes such as Deliveroo and Uber you will need a vehicle and an Android or an iOS phone to a minimum spec and memory. Your device is likely to need to have a camera with a flash and GPS Location Services.

Most opt to go with Android over iOS devices based on affordability, a variety of rugged phone options and better device management connectivity.

7 Reasons to Use a Separate Smartphone

Yes you can use your private phone. But is it Rugged enough?  The phone will likely get a lot of wear and tear especially if you end up being very busy day after day. Inevitably you will drop the power jack may well become worn and the weather could take its toll.

This is a really important tool for your Gig life your success may well revolve around this.

  1. Longer Battery Life. Typically purpose built devices have higher capacity batteries than a standard smartphone.
  2. Pick something more Rugged and sealed. Purpose built devices are typically tested to multiple 4 foot drops.
  3. Longer life cycle. Enterprise grade devices tend to remain the same for longer therefore making repairs less costly.
  4. Lower cost extended maintenance plans.
  5. Out of the box value added features such as device management.
  6. High performance durable construction and components.
  7. Longer life vehicle mount options. Better quality components so they last longer.

Driving Heath and Safety

If you are using your Phone for calls or navigation whilst driving take some time to gen up on some tips here and here.

Barcode Scanning

If your Gig requires higher than average rates of barcode scanning make sure you pick a device with a dedicated scanner. You will be pleased you did. If you are just scanning a few codes per day, use a scan through the camera app, we can help you pick one.

Tax For Gig Economy Workers

In the UK the Vast majority of Gig economy drivers are self-employed. As such you are responsible for paying your own taxes and National Insurance contributions. This means completing a self-assessment tax return each year. Good news is that you do not pay taxes on all your income only your profits. This means you can deduct your business expenses from your total earnings. Learn More

Our Unitech Rugged Android Handheld Bundle

Our Unitech EA502 is a  fully featured enterprise grade handheld that has a huge array of accessories and value added features. A typical user will have this device in service for around 5-6 years. This is the sort of device that major delivery and field service organisations are using for long term sustainability.

At our shop you can pick up a device vehicle cradle and mount use the coupon GIG19 to get 10% off. Delivery is free in the UK and flat rate into other countries in EMEA.

How to pick an Android phone for the gig economy get in touch by phone or use web chat to talk to our team about equipment specification your mobility deployment project leasing and device management.

 Picking an Android Phone for The Gig Economy How to pick an Android Phone for The Gig Economy

 

MobileWorxs Adds Unitech Mobile Devices To Its Range

MobileWorxs adds Unitech Mobile Devices to its Range

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.

Before this can be done, a deployment plan needs to be in place, which should also include the necessary training to ensure that all mobile workers are familiar with the new technology and competent to hit the road running at the ‘go live’ date. In addition, it’s also important to thoroughly test related software apps and iron out any glitches.

What is imminent in the mobile enterprise industry is the pending end-of-life deadline for Windows Mobile OS in December 2019.  According to MobileWorxs’ MD, Andrew Cahill, many of their customers are considering replacing their aging Microsoft PDA-based devices and migrating to Android across their supply chains.

To meet this increasing demand and provide more market choice, MobileWorxs has added the Unitech range of rugged Android handhelds to their product portfolio, along with the necessary sales and help desk support capabilities. “The Unitech range will be a popular and viable replacement option, as it combines a wide variety of technical options, affordability, quality and reliability in a brand that has established its credibility over 30 years across 25 countries,” he adds.

Paul Johnston, Sales Manager Unitech UK and Ireland says; “We look forward to supplying our range of enterprise mobile computers, rugged handheld PDAs, industrial tablets, RFID readers, barcode scanners, and other mobile devices to MobileWorxs’ customers, whether they are migrating to the Android platform, or looking to install affordable and reliable new technology.”

Key Unitech Mobile Devices

MobileWorxs will initially focus on four scan enabled products, with more devices introduced over time. The Unitech EA500 / EA502 rugged Android Smartphone is a rugged 5” mobile enterprise level computer combining strong features with powerful data collection for a variety of vertical applications within the retail, transport, logistics, and field service sectors.

The Unitech PA730 is an Android rugged handheld computer, built on the fastest growing and most popular mobile platform. This lightweight and pocketable device is versatile enough for a variety of applications in retail, event ticketing, asset tracking, and inventory management.

Next up is the Unitech TB85, an 8″ Android 8.0 device, which can connect to multiple modules, such as a scanner, making it versatile for multiple tasks across many industry sectors. The Unitech PA726 handheld computer is designed to optimise any business and features Android 7.1.2 for the most up-to-date Android experience for many enterprise applications.

Cahill says that they have also included a Unitech EA602 entry level mobile computer with RFID for for quick and accurate vertical applications in warehouse and distribution centre within the retail, transport, logistics, and field service sectors.

RAM Mounts – 3 steps to an ideal vehicle mount solution …

Get in touch to arrange a show and tell of any of the Unitech Mobile Devices.

Rugged Microsoft Surface Pro and Go Bundles

Introducing Rugged Microsoft Surface Pro and Go Bundles

Introducing Rugged Microsoft Surface Pro and Go Bundles

Searching for a tablet for use in your organisation can be a huge task. Then you find it – a Microsoft Surface, a device with great pedigree and it is a great solution in many scenarios. Now you need to protect that investment so the tablet can go wherever your work takes you.

And that’s where we come in. We have not only one of the most rugged Surface cases on the market and a glass screen protector, but  we can now offer the ability to purchase the Surface Pro, a rugged case, chemically strengthened screen protector and asset tag all bundled and ready for action.

Buying a Surface Pro bundle has certain benefits over putting a rugged case on your tablet and applying your own screen protector, it can be a stressful and difficult process. Something you can now avoid.

Surface Case Considerations

Purchase a rugged case for your Microsoft Surface then applying the case can be a challenge. Not only is it time consuming but rugged cases are designed to fit tightly to maximize protection. Cases often consist of more than one piece and need to be put together in a specific way to fully protect the tablet. Our xCase includes a rubber boot and ridged outer shell which provide more shock absorption in case you drop or bump you tablet. Because of the tight fit it needs to be applied correctly.

To increase the ruggedness of your tablet you should also consider a screen protector. however they can be notoriously difficult to apply so they are straight too much to the left or right and it won’t sit properly on the tablet. If you try to adjust it you risk cracking the screen protector resulting in a scrap rate for screen protectors can exceed 15% when improperly applied. This doesn’t even take into consideration dealing with dust or those annoying bubbles that can form if the screen protector isn’t applied correctly. Not only are dust and air bubbles frustrating, they can cause issues with touch screen sensitivity, increasing your frustration and decreasing your productivity.

Designed for Surface and Authorized Reseller

Plus we have a huge list of accessories such as carry straps, mounting kits, barcode and imaging solutions, device management software, extended maintenance packages and leasing options. All of these add ons can be bundled and sent straight into your project deployment.

Eliminate the Headache

So by ordering a Rugged Microsoft Surface Pro or Go Bundle you avoid all of these issues.  Put together by our Tablet Experts, your bundle is shipped straight to you, ready-to-deploy, right out of the box. No assembly, no headache, no hassle. Just open the box and go saving you time and effort to get rugged and go mobile.

 

Rugged Microsoft Surface Pro and Go BundlesIntroducing Rugged Microsoft Surface Pro and Go Bundles

Contact us at 44 1905 799555 or at sales@mobileworxs.com we can help you configure a Surface Pro Surface Pro 6 or Surface Go with all the accessories to meet your needs. Bundled and Ready for Action !

Online Shop Now Open

MobileWorxs Online Shop Now Open

Online Shop Now Open

We are excited to announce that our online shop is now open! Head on over to the shop to check out all our new products. Free Shipping for customers in the UK, fixed rate shipping into Europe.

Online Shop Now Open

Check back often to see updates offers and new categories.

 

MobileDemand T8650 Gets Performance Boost

MobileDemand T8650 Gets Performance Boost

MobileDemand T8650 Gets Performance Boost

T8650 is the ultimate among enterprise grade feature rich rugged 8″ Windows 10 tablets. This is one tablet that delivers a superb ROI and has a whole range of accessories as well as a standard 3 year warranty. Options include 4G a fingerprint scanner, choice of 2 high capacity hot swap batteries and high performance 2D barcode imager (with optional pistol grip handle)  make this a great tablet for use in the warehouse on the shop floor or in the field.

MobileDemand T8650 just keeps getting better with 2 new performance upgrades that are now shipping.

  1. Brighter 8″ Display now rated at 470 nits. The panel is 10-point project capacitive touch providing great performance against moderate rain conditions. Resolution 1280 (W) x 800 (H). T8650 comes supplied with a screen protector.
  2. Drive upgraded from 64GB to 128Gb eMMC. Further storage available through SD card.

RAM Mounts – 3 steps to an ideal vehicle mount solution …

Get in touch to arrange a show and tell of the T8650 in the meantime review T8650 specifications.

Snap Mount Simple and Versatile Tablet Mounting

Snap Mount

Snap Mount Simple and Versatile Tablet Mounting

The Snap Mount is a lightweight simple and versatile tablet mounting solution.  The mount is sturdy and durable and takes only minutes to install. It features a quick-release mechanism and utilizes the plate found on MobileDemand’s rugged case for iPad and Surface as well as Tablet models Flex 10A T1540 T8650 T1150 a1150 and T1270. It can be used on just about any vertical or horizontal surface.

Snap Mount Simple and Versatile Tablet Mounting

Standard Snap Mount includes:

  • Rail and quick release trigger.
  • Support plate with C-size RAM ball.
  • Stabilizing zip ties and anchors.

xTablet T1270 Rugged Tablet Review

Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you integrate this option into your wall, Fork-lift or vehicle installation.

Introducing Rugged Case for Microsoft Surface Go

Introducing Rugged Case for Microsoft Surface Go

Introducing Rugged Case for Microsoft Surface Go

Our  xCase for the Surface Go is built with mobility and ruggedness in mind. The Surface Go Rugged Case provides superior durability and protection, keeping your tablet safe out in the field or in the classroom. Shock absorbing material and a standard Snap mount protect the Surface Go throughout the day’s spills, bumps, and drops.

The Go Case is currently not compatible with type cover, the aim is to remedy this is April.  Please call us for future compatibility options.

Engineered for enterprise productivity, the Rugged xCase is made to fit the Surface Go, provides unparalleled ROI durability and protection. Shock absorbing rubber corner bumpers along with a structurally rigid shell protect the Surface tablet throughout your daily operations. MIL-STD-810G tested for 6-foot drop means this case can handle even the toughest drops.  The optional durable, full-range easel (kickstand) allows for the Microsoft tablet to be viewed at nearly any angle. The Surface Go laptop/tablet is transformed to an easy-to-carry device with the back hand strap and briefcase handle attachments which are included.

Introducing Rugged Case for Microsoft Surface Go

March 2019 Update:

We also offer a ready to deploy bundle including the Surface Go, our protective rugged case, a screen protector and asset tag all assembled for you by our boffins at MobileWorxs.

RAM Mounts 3 Steps to an Ideal Vehicle Mount Solution

RAM Mounts – 3 steps to an ideal vehicle mount solution …

RAM Mounts have stepped up the game of mobile devices by making it possible to safely secure almost any device to anywhere. When they say almost anywhere, they mean it. The team at MobileWorxs now provide a near-endless range of RAM Mounting solutions to help you store and use your device on a forklift or in a car van or truck…. the list goes on and on!

MobileWorxs is proud to partner with RAM Mounts, as they are the leading source for rugged mobile mounting equipment and docking stations. RAM are so certain of the capability, efficiency and competence of their own products that they are all backed by a lifetime warranty. Don’t be intimidated by the extensive product offering and variety. This blog post is all you need to get your head around the options and achieve your ideal vehicle mount solution for your rugged handheld, tablet, Microsoft Surface or iPad.

3 Simple Steps

It will only take 3 simple steps to get there:

  1. Select a holder for your device:

In order to start putting together your mobile device mounting solution, first, you need to choose a holder. There are a variety of options when it comes to holders; you can either decide to mount to your existing cradle or dock using a Ram Ball, directly mount to your own device with a Snap Mount or mount the device using the Ram X-Grip and Slider Tab solutions.

  1. Select arms:

Once you have selected the ideal holder, you can start thinking of picking a Socket Arm to build onto it. Don’t worry about a thing, as there is a large variety of lengths, diameters, styles and materials from which to choose. But it doesn’t end here! There is more to be happy about, since all arms are available with a standard twist knob, steel locking knob, Pin-Lock Security Knob and Key Knob.

  1. Select a base to be mounted to your application:

You are nearly finished! All you have left now is choosing a base to attach to your application. Some of the most popular ones being the RAM Ball, Tough-Claw, Suction Cup, RAM Clamps, RAM Plate and Vehicle and Forklift Mount.

  1. If additional components are required:

I know, I know… We said 3 steps! This is the last one, we promise. Depending on your selection or if you need power or additional components might be required. If this is the case, there is no reason to get flustered! All you have to do is contact our team for further information, they’ll happily help you out!

RAM Mounts – 3 steps to an ideal vehicle mount solution …

And just like that… Your mount is complete!