02 August 2021


Since launching in the mid-eighties and early noughties, Android and Microsoft Windows operating systems (OS) have helped to revolutionise operations across countless industries worldwide, including warehousing.

However, Microsoft took the decision to end all platforms of support for Windows CE, and in June 2018, officially ended Windows CE on mobile devices. During this period, the popularity and compatibility of Android rugged devices was undisputed, with the move from Windows CE to Android delivering a host of benefits to users which has only continued to soar.

But what do these developments mean for warehouse operators looking to invest or upgrade existing OS? If you are a warehouse operator and are considering an OS rollout or upgrade, we have mapped out the key considerations to help inform your choice.

Operating systems explained

Arguably the most crucial software that runs on a computer, an OS is made of several applications and manages a computer’s memory, processes, software and hardware.

Without a central OS, a computer is rendered useless, making its importance unquestionable.

Android vs Windows: History

The battle for OS dominance between Windows and Android is not new news, with the giants regularly pipping each other to the top spot for worldwide OS market share.

With the vast benefits associated with Android OS, it is no surprise that our focus is to provide effective Android-based OS solutions at TouchStar.

Android: The benefits

When it comes to choosing Android for warehouse operations, the platform boasts countless benefits to deliver full and reliable warehouse support, such as:

  • Highly customisable for bespoke warehouse solutions
  • Flexibility
  • Familiar user experience
  • Minimal training required  
  • Continual updates/application development
  • Intuitive platform
  • Adaptability
  • Freedom (see below) 

At TouchStar, we are seeing more applications for warehouse-specific operations being released for rugged Android devices, with support focused on those deployments.

The flexibility delivered by Android enables us to optimise our platform specifically for the warehouse industry, and offer features such as:

  • Extending/optimising battery life
  • High-speed scanning
  • Automating device back lighting
  • Extending Wi-Fi coverage
  • Maximising shift times
  • Improving roaming
  • Using specialised connectivity software for back-office systems

It also enables certain features and other devices to be integrated successfully to help meet sector-specific requirements, such as specialist keyboards and barcode scanner.

The vast capability of Android, together with its seamless integration and regular releases of apps for warehouse-specific operations, emphasises Android’s position as a reliable and world-leading OS warehouse solution.

The Android ‘barrier’: Software

Android is known as an open-source operating system which isn’t impacted by any limitations imposed by their Microsoft Windows CE counterparts. However, some see moving to Android as a barrier due to the cost of redeveloping their core software systems, such as Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).

Despite this, Android’s unquestionable flexibility allows the freedom for TouchStar to unlock all options from the full Android OS experience, allowing them to build and deliver customised solutions that are specific to the warehousing sector.

Thanks to individual’s familiarity with Android devices and their interface, is it is highly likely that staff will be familiar with the Android OS and its working. This makes for an easier transition, increased efficiency and boosted team morale.

TouchStar: Transforming warehouse operations 

TouchStar boast three decades of experience in helping to improve accuracy and efficiency across all areas of the warehouse operation.

Devices

If you are looking at investing or upgrading in an Android OS, TouchStar’s vast range of high-performance rugged devices offer the perfect solution:  

TS8200

The TS8200 is the latest generation in the TS8000 series, adding further enhancements with a lighter and ergonomic design to its predecessor.

This device boasts dynamic data collection thanks to its high-res speed laser scanner, provides superb visibility in all warehouse lighting conditions and reduced downtime tanks to its swapping battery capability.

TS7200

The TS7200 delivers resilience with high-performance. Maintaining the robust characteristics of the previous TS series, the TS7200 is perfectly suited to withstand demanding warehouse environments, thanks to its high impact polycarbonate plastics, rubber shock absorbers and metal alloy chassis. High-definition graphics, user-friendly and wipeable touchscreen and mounting, combined with prolonged battery life makes this a perfect solution. 

TS3200

The perfect in vehicle solution, the TS3200 combines multiple date collection options with high-speed performance processing, ensuring users are armed with speedy and reliable data transfer.

Built to last, each component sits in robust shock-absorbent rubber. Its LED backlit display together, with its direct sunlight readable IPS, is built with the user in mind.

Support

If you are looking to upgrade or invest in an OS and need support, TouchStar has you covered. We are dedicated to providing our customers with a robust support structure. We will gladly support any recently launched models until 2030 as a minimum, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll receive the upmost backing from TouchStar should you need OS assistance.

Find out more about support with your rugged devices here.

Transform your warehouse operations today  

Transform your warehouse operation today with a rugged Android device from TouchStar. Why not take advantage of the improvements rugged mobile devices could bring to your warehouse operation today?

To find out more about our OS solutions and how they can benefit your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - PETER MARSH

Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales manager role in 2001.  Prior to joining the company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel and logistics industries. 

In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and field service industries. When not involved in the business, Peter is a keen and enthusiastic football and cricket fan.

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