We are studying a pilot program that will provide Android smartphones to our users for no additional cost.
We have received a number of calls and emails inquiring as to what we think is the best device for use in the field. There are a ton of things to consider and Android-powered devices come with a wide variation of features. At one point we considered offering ones we felt were a good fit on our site, but selling Android devices to the open market is a whole other deal as we would have to support non user purchases. We’d rather leave that to Best Buy.
But that still doesn't answer the question and it isn't an easy one. Not only do we have to look at the functionality we have currently but what we are planning to add and what some companies from this industry have already requested.
There is also weird stuff, for example, some camera software will reference the gravity sensor to establish the height and width of a photo and some don’t. So what winds up happening is that the devices that do will always have the photo oriented correctly in a report and the others won’t. Then an upgrade will come or the user will install additional camera software which will reference the sensor. Get the picture?
With all things considered we have come to a rather surprising conclusion. We think it may make more economical sense for us to supply Android devices to our users at no additional cost and support these units rather than try and support the sea of variations of Android OS versions and software that are out there now and to come. Our app will still work on most units of which we will continue to support, but it also means those who have borrowed their daughters Kindle Fire will have an option.
What this also means is that a company with multiple inspectors aren't faced with the cost of replacing all their phones.