Test who commits longer – what strategies can be used when selecting an Android™ industrial device?
As we have learned, there are three different questions to be answered:
1. How secure is my data or is data security important to me?
If data security is not crucial for my specific use case, the use of a GMS-certified device or even a smartphone is a possible approach. If data security is very important for me, a device without GMS is definitely necessary.
Basically, there are the following possibilities:
a) I use a smartphone and accept the factors associated with it, such as data security, lack of long-term availability, etc.
b) I use a GMS/Recommended device and accept the following
c) I seal off my network so that the device never gets any outside contact
d) I use an industrial Android™ operating system that does not include Google services
e) I use a GMS/Recommended device and also use a GMS Blocker, so I subsequently create an industrial Android™ device, which is somewhat paradoxical, but is often the practice of the big brands
For industrial applications, we recommend the use of an explicit industrial Android™ operating system, e.g. the Android™ Industrial+ from ACD Elektronik or similar systems, free of third-party services and with verifiable long-term availability. Especially when using low-cost devices, one has the additional risk of an uncontrolled supply chain of the manufacturer, so that these devices are often already infected with malware ex works, which in turn only serve the purpose of data leakage.
2. How long does my provider offer updates and upgrades or how long do I want to use my Android™ hardware?
Here, too, one will not be successful in the industrial environment with useful lives of less than three years. Two things need to be considered: Firstly, the availability of the hardware, and secondly, the long-term availability of upgrades and updates for the operating system on this hardware. Preferably, companies should be selected that provide long-term support for their hardware platform, both in terms of repairing the devices and replacing changing parts and components. On the other hand, the provider should also offer long-term software can provide support. Our recommendation is always direct support and not a multi-stage procedure in which the actual service provider for updates is ultimately unknown. And it should also be clear that serious support is not available for free, so stay away from low-cost providers.
3. How do I want to manage my devices?
In the industrial environment, an administrator usually manages not just one or a few devices, but a larger number. Therefore, supporting tools for installation, updates and setting optimisation are an important differentiating factor for the decision. It is therefore important to carefully check which tools the provider offers, how well the devices can be integrated and what additional costs are incurred. Important in this context is an MDM, a mobile device manager. With this, the devices can be managed directly in the field or updates and upgrades can be installed on the devices. If a manufacturer does not have its own tool, third-party providers must be used, sometimes at significantly higher costs.
Android™ as an operating system is chic and modern. Due to its embedded properties, i.e. the fixed link to an ARM hardware platform, support and long-term availability are very manufacturer-dependent. When choosing, it is important to consider data security, long-term availability and management of the devices.