Industrial Handheld Devices for the Other OS

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For the better part of the last decade, if you needed a rugged handheld mobile computer, the operating system (OS) you were forced to use was a version of Microsoft’s Windows designed for this platform. Microsoft offered two versions of their mobile OS: Windows Mobile and Windows CE (referred collectively as Windows Mobile or WM in this blog). Over this decade, Microsoft relabeled these. Have you noticed that Microsoft tends to do this with many of their products?

Anyway, the corporate world adopted WM as the de facto standard platform for rugged industrial devices. Dozens of manufacturers around the world produced mobile computers running WM. Even though it was a very popular OS for industrial devices, the consumer market never embraced WM. I admit I owned a Verizon Wireless XV6700 that ran WM.

In October of 2008, HTC released the first commercially available phone that ran the Android OS. Android is a mobile device platform built on the Linux kernel. For those non-techies reading this, Google develops Android privately and releases it publicly so device manufacturers can add their proprietary components to make it work with their devices. This promotes creativity by manufacturers looking to add functionality to their products to differentiate themselves from their competition. Because of the popularity of mobile phones, Android has become the most popular OS for these consumer devices. This, in turn, has spurred the growth of applications targeting this market and hence the growth in the number of developers for the Android platform.

Android for Industrial Handheld DevicesApple for Industrial Handheld Devices

Wanting to capitalize on this potential market for Android applications and developers, Honeywell introduced the Dolphin 7800 Mobile Computer running Android. This provides a rugged device that can survive and thrive in the industrial environment but offers the familiar user interface of Android. It also provides a new target market for Android developers looking to expand on their consumer application offerings. Honeywell recently announced another upcoming device, the Dolphin 70e Black that also runs Android. In addition, if you are a developer for Apple’s iOS, Honeywell offers the SL22 Captuvo that adds a 2D barcode reader and a magnetic stripe reader to the iPod 4 Touch while providing an industrial housing that survives multiple 4-foot drops.

If you are an Android or iOS developer and want to test the Honeywell Dolphin 7800 Android Mobile Computer or the Honeywell Captuvo SL22, contact L-Tron. We can provide evaluation hardware and software support.

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