The Android updates we received noted that Android 10 has 50 new security and privacy features. How do you keep up with all of those? And how important is it to keep up with the latest OS versions in your rugged, mobile computer fleet?
The good news is that Android has become more “industrial” with every version. Google has looked at what their customers in this space, such as Zebra and Honeywell, are doing to “harden” their versions of Android and has started to adopt these changes in the core product. Things such as wireless security and the ability to have multiple users on one device. Also, the ability to control what applications are downloaded and used on the device.
The rugged devices will continue to lag the consumer ones on what versions of Android are available. Zebra and Honeywell continue to make tweaks to the OS to optimize it for their devices and users. But keeping up with the latest version available and ensuring that the device you are choosing will be able to be upgraded in the future are both important.
Zebra has Lifeguard, and Honeywell has Mobility Edge. These are service offerings that let you upgrade the OS over time. But eventually, the OS upgrades will outrun the memory and processor in your device, and you will not be able to go any further. But the plan is for that day to be 3-5 years out in the future so that it coincides with the life span of even rugged mobile computers.
Finally, this is an opportunity for another pitch for a good MDM such as SOTI. You will need this kind of software to keep up with the OS revisions and the necessary application updates.
The Technical Services team at EMP is constantly working to stay on top of this, assist our customers in making good decisions on devices upfront, and keep that hardware working in your operations efficiently and for the longest time possible.