With so many rugged Android devices hitting the market now we thought we’d do a quick beginners guide to Android as we see it on Rugged PDA’s and Rugged Tablets. Android Operating Systems are split into 2 main types. One aimed at Smartphones and 1 aimed at Tablets and they’re subtly different.
Lets not forget just how young Android still is. It was only unveiled as an OS in 2007 and the first device sporting the Android OS was launched in September 2008 so it’s still a baby compared to most mobile operating systems out there. based on LINUX and with an open source development stance it has however become the fastest growing and now the most widely used operating in the smart phone market, even overtaking Apple IOS in late 2010.
In the rugged market things are very different though. Whilst there are quite a fair few Rugged Android PDA’s and Rugged Tablets now available, only a few sport the true “Rugged” badge in our view and the market remains solidly Microsoft for now at least!
Android on Smartphone
I’ll explain this by releases and dates.
- Version 1.0 – Sept 2008
- Version 1.1 – Feb 2009
- Version 1.5 – Apr 2009 (Cupcake)
- Version 1.6 – Sept 2009 (Donut)
- Version 2.0 – Oct 2009 (Eclair)
- Version 2.1 – Jan 2010 (Also Eclair)
- Version 2.2 – May 2010 (Froyo)
- Version 2.3 – Dec 2010 (Gingerbread)
- Version 2.4 – Summer 2012 (Ice Cream Sandwich (Runs on PDA’s and Tablets))
Android on Tablets
- Version 3.0 – Oct 2011 (Honeycomb)
- version 4.0 – Oct 2011 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- Version 4.1 – Jul 2012 (Jelly Bean)
The Most used and current versions
The problem with Android is the fact that it has been developed very quickly and the versions just keep coming out. So, if you look at the table above that we took from the Android developer network itself you’ll see an alarming trend towards using the latest versions of the OS. Anything coming out now will have either 2.2 or 2.3.x if it’s a rugged android PDA or v 4.0 if it’s a rugged tablet. We practically don’t see any other versions now.
The Issue With Android Support
Because Android is open-source, it really means you don’t get any support unless it’s through the open-source community and if you look at the image above then you’ll see instantly the versions that won’t be getting too much attention any longer! Now in the rugged market we’re trying to get manufacturers to support the OS with mixed returns on expertise but even if we do succeed, we end up stuck with an out of date OS that goes end of life in the Android community within months! Pidion have already updated the OS version on their kit which has caused delays and real pain for customers so even the best laid plans go ka-ka.
So it’s left to you, or us to sort out!! We’ll talk about this in the next article.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.