The increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets, largely powered by iOS and Android software platforms in the consumer market has led to their gradual acceptance in the enterprise arena, with more and more corporations employing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
Where the enterprise arena was once dominated by RIM’s Blackberry for personal calls and e-mail usage and Windows Mobile enabled devices for more commercial applications, both of these functions have now been integrated into smartphones such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy 3 and tablets such as the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab powered by Google’s Android Operating System.
According to Gartner as of February 2013, Android powered devices account for over 75% of global market share, with a corporate uptake of 41% in North America and 32% in the Asian region. Initial doubts over reliability and robustness of the Android operating system have now been replaced with widespread enthusiasm over the availability of a wide range of software, with an equally wide range of hardware options covering the entire price spectrum.
Android enabled smartphones and tablets that offer PDA-like functionality, often at a fraction of the cost are benefiting the commercial space. A larger screen size for instance, increases efficiency whilst performing mobile inspections as well as significantly enhancing the end-user experience. With optional hardware attachments now available to facilitate the use of RFID scanners, the need for a dedicated PDA unit to complete inspections in the field is becoming increasingly marginalised, specific only to those industries that require dust proof, corrosion proof, explosive proof or waterproof hardware devices.
The benefits of using an Android powered tablet or smartphone in a commercial environment for mobile electronic inspections have led many companies to develop mobility inspection software on the Android platform in order to pass these numerous benefits on to customers.
Benefits of smartphones and tablets in mobile electronic inspections:
- Offers PDA-like functionality at a fraction of the cost
- Larger screen size (5” for smartphones and 10” for tablets)
- Captures high-resolution images that can be annotated using the touch-screen
- Barcode scanning with in-built camera
- Offers a truly integrated workplace experience, increasing demand
- Completes inspections, and records recommendations and corrective actions
- Wirelessly synchronises data between an SQL database and offline entries