Android has become faster, stronger, and more enterprise friendly in 2014. We explain what Android advancements for mobile field service mean and how companies can take advantage of the updates.
Welcome back to Android Week at MSI! We’re excited to dive head first into the wonderful world of Android software and devices and explore how your field service organization can take advantage Android products and updates to gain a competitive advantage this year.
The technology industry moves at lightning speed. With each product and operating system making dozens of improvements and updates each year, it’s hard to keep up and know whether you’re on the right version or even the right operating system for your organization. To keep things simple, we’re going to highlight some of the most important Android advancements so far this year and how those updates could impact your field service mobile strategy.
1. 4.4.4 KitKat update increases speed and security
What it’s all about: Android’s 4.4.4 KitKat rollout is the last of the 4.4 KitKat series updates. It will be taken over by Android L later this year, but the improvements are still significant. The 4.4 series pushes increased speed for Android devices and 4.4.4 KitKat delivered but one security patch for an OpenSSL vulnerability, meaning devices are less susceptible to security breaches like Heartbleed.
What it means for mobile field service: With faster, more secure devices for enterprise use, field service organizations can feel confident adopting an Android-based mobile solution for their field workerforce.
2. Android L improves memory and battery management for Android devices
What it’s all about: Android L is an upcoming release of Android’s mobile operating system. The changes to L include a redesign built around a responsive design language, improvements to the notification system, internal changes for improved performance, and additional enterprise management tools.
What it means for mobile field service: Android users in the field will experience better battery life and memory management, things many field service organizations struggle with today. With the release of Android L, Google will also introduce new APIs to unify and secure work and personal apps so an organization could employ a BYOD policy and maintain security.
3. Android tablet market share closes in on Apple
What it’s all about: 2014 should be a turning point for the tablet industry, with active Android devices surpassing iOS for the first time. According to a Gartner study from March, 2014, Android now makes up 62% of tablet market share: “The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers; this led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system (OS).”
What it means for mobile field service: Android is now a strong (maybe the strongest) contender in the tablet market. Field service organizations deciding which tablet to choose in their mobile rollout shouldn’t jump straight to iPads before evaluating advancements and advantages for Android tablets.
4. Android Silver tightens connection between Google and device manufacturers
What it’s all about: Android Silver is a Google initiative that limits what manufacturers can do with Android in order to ensure consistency and quality across devices (something that isn’t always the case with Android devices currently). By working more closely with manufacturers, Google can ensure a consistent experience across all Silver devices.
What it means for mobile field service: The introduction of the Silver program means a wider choice of high-end Android devices available at more reasonable prices, and they’ll be free from bloatware, unwanted apps, and over-the-top customization. Field service organizations interested in mobile security, consistency, and reliability will love this program.
5. Chrome 36 for Android improves rich notifications
What it’s all about: Google is improving Chrome by adding a “browser crash recovery bubble,” bringing improvements to rich notifications, and introducing the Chrome App Launcher for Linux.
What it means for mobile field service: The new version of Chrome will allow service organizations to set up notifications to keep their technicians informed.
Conclusion: Take Advantage of Mobile Advancements
While these updates aren’t the only advancements coming to Android this year, these new features could impact the success of your mobile field service strategy if you’re using or considering Android devices for your organization.
Regardless of which operating system you choose, be sure to stay informed about updates and advancements to keep your organization competitive and empowered to make the best decisions for your mobile operation.
A Buyer’s Guide to Mobile Field Service Software: 9 Tips for Choosing a Mobile Solution that’s Right for You
In the market for a cross-platform or cloud-based mobile app for your field service organization? Learn important tips, guiding questions, and to-do’s in our free, educational whitepaper: “A Buyer’s Guide to Mobile Field Service Software.”