A Very Merry Christmas from Rugged and Mobile!

21 12 2012
A Rugged PDA testing out Santa's new sledge (Only rugged PDA's are tough enough for the job!!)

A Rugged PDA testing out Santa’s new sledge (Only rugged PDA’s are tough enough for the job!!)

Well it’s been a wonderful year for us at Rugged and Mobile.  Full of change, lots of challenges and loads of new and interesting projects and customer solutions delivered.  Of course we’ve blogged and written articles all the way along as well as join in all the chit chat with you, our blog readers so that we can share as much of our experience and trials and tribulations as we can!

We’ve decided to call time on 2012 this Friday, so we’re saying thank-you so much for joining in with us this year and may we extend our wishes for a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year to you all.

The job’s nowhere near done as far as teaching you all about Rugged PDA’s, tablets and Mobile Solutions is concerned, so we’ll be back in 2013, raring to go (If a little overweight from all the home cooked mince pies that have found their way into the office the past few weeks!) and looking forward to what will be a challenging but awesome year ahead.

Christmas wishes and love from

All the RAMblrs @ Rugged and Mobile

Rugged and Mobile Blog hits 400 posts!

20 12 2012
400 Posts later...We're still banging on about Rugged and Mobile Solutions!

400 posts later and we’re still banging on about Rugged and Mobile Solutions!

So we’re 400 posts old!  and we all just wanted to say thank-you so much for coming and reading our Rugged Handheld blog.  Without our readers there’d be no point to what we do and we love all the comments, questions and emails you send in to us.

We also hit an average 1200 viewers per day this month, 700 being general viewers and the rest made up of email subscribers, tweeters and social/RSS readers.  It means we have a rough following of over 40,000 readers per month making us one of the biggest places to read, comment and discuss “Rugged PDA’s and Data capture!”

We’re changing hugely next year and the way we blog will reflect this.  Firstly we’ll be having a far nicer design applied to the blog very soon.  Like our website, it’s about 18 months overdue, we’ve been so busy we’ve had to put our customers and the conversations we have first but both sites will be wonderful new and unique places to go and learn everything you need to learn before spending your hard-earned cash!

You can probably tell the market we work in is changing hugely too so we’ll be splitting up the blog into 2 or 3 distinct areas to reflect what we really do here on a day-to-day basis.  Software in the shape of Windows Mobile, Android and IOS, Hardware both Rugged and Non Rugged and of course service/support and repair are all dear to our hearts and our daily bread here and we’ll be categorising the blog to reflect this far better along with putting up the news and opinion that makes us so different from everyone else.

So here’s to a superb 2013.  It’s going to be a challenging year, but a year full of exciting change too, so make sure you keep asking those questions, we’ll be right here ready to help!

Have a great Christmas, a wonderful New Year and remember to work hard when you get back!!

Dave and all the RAMblrs @ Rugged and Mobile.

Top 10 reasons why Android’s Great – Toggle Buttons

19 12 2012
Android Toggle Buttons are cool!

Android Toggle Buttons are cool!

So a really quick one today, to continue our top 10 reasons why Android is great (Especially on rugged Android Handhelds)!, we’re looking at toggle buttons!

OK, OK, so toggle buttons are nothing new and if we’re being totally honest they were made beautiful first by IOS and the iPhone and are only available from build 16 of Android onwards (4.1), but they interestingly they really do make an application on a mobile phone far easier to work with.

The toggle button is basically an ON/OFF or True/False control but instead of being in an option style, which can be fiddly and is more stylus oriented, you just have 1 toggle button to press.  They’re used everywhere in mobile applications, they’re very mobile and they’re cool!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Top 10 reasons why Android is the best for Business – Keyboard Input Types

18 12 2012
Choose the Android keyboard that suits the task at hand.

Choose the Android keyboard that suits the task at hand.

Continuing our top 10 reasons why the Android operating System is great, today we introduce the concept of Keyboard Input Types!

A constantly under used feature, and non-existent in Windows Mobile, the concept of the Keyboard Input Type in Android is that you can choose what style of keyboard you present to the user depending on the task at hand.  This brings 2 major points up in my view:

  • The first is that “Rugged PDA’s tend to have keyboards I hear you say”, but the fact is that Android Rugged PDA’s in particular have issues with their physical keyboards in so much as they were built for Windows Mobile and converted to Android so many keys are missing and they simply aren’t intuitive to use.
  • The second issue is that Android is really built for large capacitive screen style smart phone devices and even the Android devices we sell tend to have 4.3″ screens and no physical keyboard.

So how do you make the user input easy?  The answer is to give the user the right on screen keyboard depending on what she os actually trying to input at the time.  The Keyboard Input Type!

Let me give you an example.

Lets take our friendly neighbourhood engineer who spends his day fixing boilers.  He wakes up and gets his jobs on his Rugged PDA, he drives to the job, does the work and then updates the case so that his central office can invoice and follow-up on the case.  When he closes a case down, he’ll probably want to add some parts used and this field might be numeric.  Well in Android there’s a keyboard that will pop up automatically to give him big fat number buttons.  He might then want to update the case so in that field he needs the standard Qwerty keyboard, and then he may need to make a phone call so he wants the phone pad style keyboard.  Maybe he needs to work out the bill and enter that, in which case the NumberDecimal keypad is right.

When we’re mobile we need to do things differently.  The Android Keyboard Input Types feature has over 20 different settings to help you enter data quickly, accurately and easily when in the field.  Add to this the new “Swype” keypad in 4.2 and above aids faster input and if this isn’t enough then why not try one of the hundreds of keyboards that have been custom made for all kinds of different niche usages!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Barcode Creator Passes Away.

17 12 2012
Norman Jospeh Woodland Passesd away

Norman Joseph Woodland Passes away

I thought i’d interrupt the current series of blogs to pay our respects to Normal Joseph Woodland, who passed away on Friday 14th December at the grand old age of 91.  Norman worked with Bernard Silver came up with the idea of the barcode, way back in the 1940’s with the original patent for the concentric circle “Bulls Eye” barcode being made in 1949.

However the barcode was way ahead of its time and whilst it was a great way to ID products an efficient reading system was the challenge and it wasn’t until the early 1970’s when Woodland joined IBM in order to develop and use a laser based scanning system.  It was at this point the barcode system took the stage!

Wrigleys Jucy Fruit - The first ever barcode scanned

Wrigleys Jucy Fruit – The first ever barcode scanned

Launched in 1974, the first UPC based barcode was scanned on a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum for 67 cents.  The rest is history with barcodes still today forming the basis of tracking products around the world.  To mark just how important this technology has served us over the years, Woodland was amongst some great names in technology who were honoured at the White House in the USA by then President Bush.Rest in peace and a big thank-you from everyone here at RAM for such a wonderful technology Norman!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

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