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Will More Rugged Mobile Devices Help Technicians?

Technicians can be tough on mobile computing tools. Fortunately, manufacturers are developing more durable devices designed to survive longer in punishing environments.

Better battery life, water resistance, drop protection and scratch-resistant screens are just some of the added features available, according to an article on Contractor Magazine’s website.

Not only is there a greater selection of products today, but a better variety of platforms, too. Microsoft Windows used to be the only choice. But with Apple and Google emerging with their own platforms, the number of quality applications for technicians in the service industry has increased dramatically.

For software developers, this does create some challenges. Since manufacturers all use their own technology, it means job site applications may need to be created for each specific device operating system. This adds significant development costs that would naturally be passed on to customers that use the software.

As a big proponent of standards, we believe writing mobile applications for the web that are platform-agnostic is still the most cost-effective way for companies to go. The variations between browsers are still relatively minor, and with the newer HTML5 standards, the argument that you “need to be connected” to save your data is quickly fading away. Now you’ll be able to store your data locally and forward it as soon as the network is back in place.

Of course, some people are concerned about sinking money into tools that might break, be damaged or lost. Keep in mind, however, that these devices are becoming relatively inexpensive and aren’t as fragile as they once were. There are also third-party cases for many electronics, as noted in the Contractor Magazine article, that enhance the durability of the devices.

Source: Contractor Magazine, June 2012