Android’s operating system was first released to consumers in September 2008, since then it has taken the technology market by storm. Android has continued to strengthen its presence within the UK and now has a market share of 59.6% overtaking iOS and Windows.
Android is more prominent in the consumer market, this, however, is changing. Companies are beginning to understand the potential of Android not only how flexible and user friendly it is, but how it provides a low cost, customisable product that is ideal for high tech devices.
Android is going from strength to strength, and is gaining momentum particularly in applications requiring a more rugged device. Rugged devices excel in areas where consumer phones don’t, with longer battery life, increased processor speeds, larger memory and advanced screen technologies such as Gorilla Glass – all designed for challenging working environments. An ongoing perception is that consumer devices tend to be cheaper, but if you review the costs over the long term; breakage, downtime, workforce productivity, does the case still stand?
A growing number of field-based operators are using rugged Android devices due to its flexibility, user friendly touch interface and the growing number of available apps available. Android is also open source and free, the operating system and applications can be freely modified by developers to suit the device or industry. Android is accessible and offers simple application development, allowing bespoke solutions to be created. Android also frequently update their software providing users with up-to-date technology.
Android was originally designed for Smartphones and therefore does not require as much power consumption. This means increased productivity from the workforce as their battery will last longer. Again supporting the case for long term cost savings.
Varlink has been working within the Android market for some time and is able to offer extensive product knowledge on a range of Android devices available to its resellers. One of the products featuring in Varlink portfolio is the Opticon H-27.
Opticon recently added the H-27 Android to its product range and whilst it features the flexibility of a 4.2.2 Android operating system it is able to offer Google play, allowing users to keep devices up-to-date with the latest Android releases, free of charge.
Rugged handhelds designed for commercial environments are able to offer features such as ergonomic design, integrated 1D and 2D scan engines and in the H-27’s case a full 4.3″ touch screen with Gorilla glass and anti-reflective coating for better view ability outdoors. As manufacturers such as Opticon listen to end user demands, devices are now offering a range of communication options including Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 3.5G, NFC, GPS, and GLONASS. This enables mobile workers with real-time access to critical data, increased accuracy and therefore increasing productivity.
Android devices designed for rugged environments may have a higher initial cost when compared to consumer devices but with the launch of devices like the Opticon H-27 which offers users all the functionality and longevity of a PDA but the appearance of a consumer phone. With an IP65 rating it makes significantly tougher than a consumer smartphone and is able to withstand challenging environments.