There are more mobile computers and smart phones to choose from than ever. With multiple operating systems (Android, IOS, Windows Mobile, etc.), differing display sizes, a virtually unlimited number of form factors and peripherals (rugged, camera’s, scanners, radio options and so on) how do you choose the right device? The key is to defining and prioritizing your requirements. We recommend the following:
1) Select your application(s) first – Application selection should be your first priority as the application is what has the greatest impact on your business and interfaces with your other enterprise systems. Additionally, due to the large number of devices available the chances are high that you will be able to choose between several devices that support your application.
2) Identify specific environmental needs – The environment can play a significant factor in device selection. Are your mobile workers outdoors, in extremely cold or dirty environments? Do they work in oil fields or require special certifications such as intrinsically safe devices? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you will likely need to evaluate ruggedized mobile computers rather than smart phones.
3) Identify specific technology needs – Often mobile devices are required to connect to other equipment such as meters or provide specialized data input technologies such as barcode reading or RFID. If your application requires such items, you will need to select devices that have integrated these capabilities or support them through peripheral devices.
4) Users – last but certainly not least are user considerations. Device size, weight, carrying and storage considers should also be considered as well as battery life and recharging capabilites. Bring your own device (BYOD) is also another consideration for those applications where smart phones are a suitable choice. BYOD can reduce your overall capital expenditure, however, there are trade-offs related to security and control.
With a thorough examination of your all your requests and proper prioritization you will be able to select a mobile device that meets all or your mobile needs.