The mobile OS for Enterprise conundrum!

23 07 2014
What OS strategy do you choose for your business today?

What OS strategy do you choose for your business today?

So with so many mobile OS choices, how do you choose the best one for your business solution?  I personally think that it’s all now boiling down to how easy it is to develop applications for an OS and I believe the battle in our “enterprise” market will not be won by just the OS and companies that can make it easy to develop, deploy and support their OS, but also to the ones who make it easy to innovate, adopt and own the OS as part of a unique solution offered by resellers and software houses alike.

Here at RAM we’re of course tweaking OS’s and helping customers with them all the time but we’ve found that less and less time is spent on the same set up tasks on Android than with Windows Mobile but instead we’re getting questions that are delving far more deeply into the features of the OS.  For example we get a lot of questions about how to get devices talking to each other, how to get “things” talking to each other and USB and Bluetooth communication.  Indeed it seems people are doing a lot more with their OS’s than ever before as businesses need to innovate more than ever to simply survive.

It seems the Windows mobile adopters aren’t the ones at the forefront of innovation any longer, pushing the OS envelope out.

Will this be Apples Achilles heel?  Maybe, it’s still highly targeted by many software houses, has a decent accessory platform and is well catered for through hybrid development frameworks and the recent launch of SWIFT means IOS has just been made easier to develop for, but is Apple able to open up enough and support those developing for their platform better?

Google on the other hand are actually having to address too many flavours of Android on the market being a victim of their own success if you like.  Openness isn’t a problem here and Android is as popular now with hybrid development frameworks but developers haven’t quite adopted it like the IOS tribe just yet.

Microsoft is a mess.  There… I said it!  They had the enterprise market cornered but have just given it to Android on a silver plate. There’s lots of rhetoric, loads of people stating they know what’s going on but won’t put pen to paper themselves, but I sit and talk with lots of Rugged suppliers every week and none of them know for sure.  I can talk to Apple, I talk to Android people but we’re a  Microsoft house here and I can’t remember the last time they talked to us.  Windows Embedded 8 forces developers to use Windows 8, new expensive tools have to be bought and from personal experience it’s easier to convert existing apps to Android in my view.  I think Microsoft have their work cut out re-gaining the trust of their loyal tribe before they can go take more market share.  However they’re still Microsoft, they still own half the server market, they still have a string desktop presence, despite the radical pressure from mobile devices and many businesses will welcome a fresh Microsoft tool set which will have a lot of help and support built-in.

Blackberry is easy.  They’re gone, we’re all just waiting for them to leave the party, it’s starting to get awkward now!

So if you’re currently looking for the right mobile OS it’s not easy, you need to think and the next blog will try to address that…

Rugged and Mobile Twitter hits 2000 followers!

22 07 2014
200 Twitter Followers

200 Twitter Followers

I just wanted to use todays blog to say thank-you to everyone who follows us and joins in on the conversation on Twitter.  It gives this blog a lot of exposure and all the re-tweets and mentions we get from people are so gratefully received.

We’re working out our next phase for Twitter right now so will hopefully be bringing even more value to everything we talk and engage about.

A big thank-you from all of the RAM team.


Choosing the right Mobile Operating System

21 07 2014
What mobile OS's are there?

What mobile OS’s are there?

Good morning from a gloriously and rather unusual sunny Liverpool! 7AM and 18 degrees Celsius, you can’t ask for more!!!

Never before have we seen such diversity in real industry strength operating systems and whilst choice is normally a good thing, too much of a good thing can often be confusing and paralysing when it comes to actually making that choice.  Mobile operating systems used to be easy. Windows mobile was the go to OS, some liked CE but even that dried up so everyone knew where they stood.  These days there are a plethora of OS’s and this week I wanted to make sure you understand exactly where you stand with them, starting today with an overview of all the mobile OS’s with their pros and cons.


Windows mobile is still the live operating system from Microsoft and these days it has been rebadged “Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5.” It’s still largely the same OS from when WM 6.5 was launched way back in 2009 but to be honest it was never meant to be anything more than a stop-gap OS so its not much different to WM 6.1 which celebrates it’s 6 year anniversary this year.

Windows Embedded 8 has been talked about more recently due to some handsets finally sporting and testing it but licenses are extremely restricted for the OS and as I sit here today, I know of no WE8 handsets that are freely available for purchase just yet.  WE8 is the next OS in the Windows Mobile/WEH range and will the OS that sits on data capture equipment.

Microsoft have another OS called “Windows Phone 8″ but this is for consumer smartphones only, we don’t really do much with it here.  WIndows 8 and Windows RT are seen on tablets.

Android goes from strength to strength!

Android goes from strength to strength!


Android is the OS of the moment. It’s taking up market share in all of the consumer, business and enterprise markets.  We’re selling as many Android rugged devices as we are Windows Mobile ones these days and it is here to stay.  You can tell from the version adoption figures on Google’s own site that the OS is no longer only used by those chasing the latest version, but by businesses who want the most stable releases a few points back and Android is now officially eroding market share in established Apple iPhone countries like the UK, Europe and even USA.

Android is so easy to develop, tweak and install that pretty much every new rugged device we’ve seen this year has been Android based or at least has, had an Android OS option.

Just 1 OS version sits on any mobile smart phone, Rugged PDA or tablet making it simple to get familiar with.

Apple IOS

IOS is still a strong contender in the mobile market and depending on your country makes up for 15-50% of mobile devices. Apple kit is a closed OS system so you can only use it on Apples hardware.  This brings IOS  the hard-fought reputation that it just works, however you are at the behest of Apple and when they decide to stop developing for or supporting a version of IOS you are using.  Apple are the king of “Early redundancy of hardware” so versions tend to go out of support a lot earlier than people think making IOS not the best choice when it comes to enterprise solutions with 3-5 year ROI.


Once the darling of the business world, BB has slipped to almost nothing in the past few years. Dependant on a shaky OS platform that couldn’t support the demanded features that the latest OS’s could bring, they decided to switch to an Android platform with their latest handset releases in the hope could plug the gap but haven’t really done so.  Even Blackberry Messenger has been released for Android and IOS, now meaning there’s no real USPs in having a Blackberry solution any longer, and you might as well not lock yourself in.


There are other platforms but they make up so little of the market I’m not going to go in to them here. next we’ll talk about the pro’s and cons of each OS in the Rugged/Enterprise world.


RAM Q&A of the week – Raptors

18 07 2014


Our Q&A summary of the week, covers all kinds this week!.  Keep the questions rolling in @ruggedandmobile or using #RAMQQ or using Facebook.

1. Is there a trend towards bigger screens in the rugged market in your opinion?

Yes, we are definitely seeing more people who are talking about 5″ and more at the moment and the market is ill served right now in this area too.  The best device we sell is the Raptor R5. It has a better spec than anything else with a large screen.

2. What’s different about the new Workabout Pro 4?

Well it’s the first Motorola badged WAP and it does bring a few changes with it.  We blogged about that right here.

3. Are there any devices coming out soon that will have the new Octa-Chipset?

Actually yes, we’re talking to one of our manufacturers right now about a new update that’s coming very soon.  Octa-chipsets, huge RAM and lots more.  Its unusual for a rugged device to be so up to date like this.

4. I was told that Android would be a fleeting trend and it would go away.  Can you tell me exactly if that’s true?

Android is certainly not going away and it’s sales figures in the developed and Asian markets are still eating up market share, even from Apple.  Add to this we’re selling as many Android devices here now as we do Windows Mobile so you do the maths!

5. Is there a new OS replacement for Windows Mobile?

Yes it’s called Windows Embedded 8 and it is currently being piloted, although we’re seeing a few more devices touting the OS now, whether they’re available I’m not sure, everyone wants to be the first!  We’re going to be talking about WE8 next week.

I’ve had to limit this week to the top 5 due to time but keep sending those questions in, use #RAMQQ on twitter @ruggedandmobile or just email them in.

Workabout Pro G3 discontinued – Update & Advice

14 07 2014
The Psion/Motorola Workabout Pro G3 is retired

The Psion/Motorola Workabout Pro G3 is retired

The WAP G3 is now at the end of it’s life so for all of you G3 users we’ve compiled a list of questions to make sure you know where you stand and what to do:

Are my G3 accessories compatible with G4 devices?

Yes, the device shares the same case and all the accessories fit as far as we know.

Why was the Workabout Pro 3 discontinued?

The same as most discontinuations these days!  Component obsolescence and higher than expected run-rate.

Is there a direct replacement for the Workabout Pro 3?

The Workabout Pro 4 is a direct upgarde device to the WAP G3.  We also have a lot of nice alternatives and experience of people moving from WAP devices on to somehting else so just give us a call if you need some help.

Can I still buy Workabout Pro G3 accessories

Workabout Pro G3 accessories and upgrade modules remain orderable until further notice.

Will Workabout Pro 3 modules (lasers, imagers, radios) work with the Workabout Pro 4?

Unfortunately not, Workabout Pro G3 and Workabout Pro 4 lasers, imagers, and WiFi/3G radios are not compatible with each other.

Is there any Workabout Pro 3 stock still available and when do they stop producing them?

Availability is limited and on a first come first serve basis.  Stock is now dwindling but there is a healthy re-furb market if you;re really stuck!

Just send in any questions to us and we’ll do our best to help.

RAM Q&A of the week – Raptors 2

12 07 2014


Our Q&A summary of the week comes on Saturday today because we just couldn’t fit it in during the week!, We’re covering questions on the Raptor range of rugged devices this week.  Keep the questions rolling in @ruggedandmobile or using #RAMQQ or using Facebook.

1. When will the Raptor R5 be available to buy.

It should be available to order next week, the price will be just under £600 including our free Warranty+ support product.

2. Will a 3000mAh battery last me the whole day on 1 charge?

It’s a tough question and really does depend on lots of things, search our blog here to see lots of advice on batteries.  If you’re worried about battery life then the R4 is the better choice for you.  Its the same device, just a tad slower but most people won’t even realise that but it has a 4200mAh battery which is 40% larger.

The Raptors also all all have a vehicle charger in the box so you can always get a quick charge in the vehicle if you need one.

3.  Will a 5″ screen use up power more than a smaller one?

Yes it will.  Screens are one of the biggest drains on battery life and the bigger they are, the more power they use.  You can reduce the brightness and make sure your power saving options are on which will help hugely.

4. I want to buy the R4 for my engineers, but want the R4s for my sales team and maybe even the R5 or R7′s for other people in my  business.  Will I need help managing the different devices?

No, in fact any repairs are logged in the same place, in the same way and the devices all run Android v4 and will be easy to manage.  We have tested and pre-installed various apps onto the devices to help with managing them too.

5. Does the R7 have 3G as standard?

Yes, in fact it has a phone chip so it has phone and 3G so your data can be synced on the move over the 3G network.

6. Can you take out the 3G chip to save money?

£400 for a fully rugged 7″ tablet and you want to save more money!!  Seriously though, the price is reflected in the fact there is 1 choice per model, the full spec and we think even against devices with no 3G in them the prices are really competitive.

7. Can I have a better service pack with a Raptor device, like Service form the start Motorola do?

We’ve been supporting and repairing here for years and we run service packs on a range of brands from right here in Liverpool, running warranty/out of warranty and full comprehensive services with a managed service being launched soon on brands big and small.  We’re also friendly, polite, knowledgeable, passionate about what we do, eager to help and you get to talk to us when you need to. Don’t forget that service is as much about people as it is about technology and processes.  All Raptors benefit from our full gamut of services.

Keep sending those questions in, use #RAMQQ on twitter @ruggedandmobile or just email them in.

The Raptors are here!

11 07 2014
The Raptor Rugged Android family

The Raptor Rugged Android family

So the Raptors are here and I hope you enjoyed learning all about the the past couple of weeks.  We’re always looking for unique products that reflect what businesses and their users need and so this week and last we’ve focussed on some new products we’ve been adding.

Rugged and Mobile no longer just sells everything, how are you supposed to do that well?  We now do most of the work for you by only selling the devices we feel make the grade but one area we’ve struggled with in the past is getting hold of true value for money rugged devices that still have quality, great support, lots of tools and knowledge wrapped around them but all aimed at the customer needing true value for money, so we decided to sort that out!

The Raptor family of devices introduce a range of devices that are all aimed at running critical business solutions but without the bells and whistles that aren’t needed.

The R4

A true rugged workhorse with big 3800mAh battery, big 4.5″ screen, a strong heart and great support.  All for under £300 per device.

Click for our first look.

learn more here

The R4S

Looking for something a bit more smartphone-like? The R4S is slim, has a qualcomm quad 4 processor, still has superb ruggedness with IP68 and a great drop spec.

First look here

Learn more

The R5

A 5″ screen built to bridge the gap between smartohone and tablet.  A huge screen but in a holdable, workable package. Coming very soon!

Click for our first look

Learn more

The R7

A 7″ tablet with quad core CPU, great battery and super tough ruggedness, all for under £400. First look here.

Click for first look

Learn more

All Raptor products come with Rugged Rescue Warranty+ as part of the price so you’ll never stand waiting for your devices to be repaired and our portal can help you with all kinds of set-up, management and reporting tasks.

This week we’ll introduce the R4 and R7 which have been officially announced this week.

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