What mobile devices do I buy to work with Clik software?

As purely a software company, we don’t officially endorse any hardware, just in case that hardware turns out to be rubbish. But we can kind of ‘point’ you in the right direction, and we can have a look at some cold hard stats. Let’s have a look at some cold hard stats:

Smartphone market share in the UK 2013

  • Android: 54.4%
  • Apple: 32.4%
  • Blackberry: 6.4%
  • Windows phone: 5.9%

[Source: pcpro.co.uk]

And if you’re pushed for time, here’s a list to see what works with what for mobile devices:

  • Clik Remote: anything with a modern web browser: iPhone/iPad, Google Android, Windows Phone/Surface
  • NICEIC Certification Software: iPad/iPad mini, netbook/laptop/tablet running Windows XP SP2 or later
  • Clik Gas Cert:  iPad/iPad mini, touchscreen* netbook/laptop/tablet running Windows XP SP2 or later. (To capture signatures for Clik Gas a touch enabled device is required).

So, it does depend on what you want to run, but at present the iPad or devices running full Windows are the only devices that do all three. The iPad Mini is better again, lighter for on-site use and cheaper. It’s £269 from the Apple store for the basic wireless model, or £369 for 3G. (I’m not an Apple shop salesman though, as I’d need to have an ironic beard/take on life, so eBay is your friend).

The ‘Big Two’ of mobile devices presently are Apple and Google Android. These companies are, unlike Blackberry, not going anywhere, so in turn we have and will be developing software for them. Google became massive with their search engine, but have many fingers in many pies. Some would say they’ve outstretched themselves by putting their fingers in too many pies, an example being Google+, a huge failure when they forgot Facebook and Twitter, you know, already existed.

Out of the Android devices, Samsung are currently top of the highly competitive tree.  You’d have no problems with the Samsung Galaxy S2/3/4 as a smartphone, the Galaxy Note 2 as a kind of half-phone/half tablet (with a larger screen and stylus for signatures, plus having everything on one device), or the Galaxy Tab. They all run Android, it’s just the size and having one or two mobile devices where you have to make the decision.

These Android phones are also currently the highest rated (at techradar.com) and would all run Clik Remote well:

  • Sony Xperia Z – Its waterproof so good for on-site work. High build quality.
  • HTC One – HTC used to be solid if unspectacular, but the HTC One has just knocked off the Galaxy S3 as the highest rated phone due to its aluminium case and all round goodness.
  • Google Nexus – Google’s own branded phone, made by LG. Cheap plastic but cheap price.

iPhones and iPads were the first and best smartphones and tablets available. They pretty much invented both. Apple products in general still have that quality in hardware and usability that Androids still can’t quite match (although they’re coming very close). Because they have glass screens though, for on-site work it’s advisable to get a rubber case. Android is however, overtaking Apple in the UK market. Worldwide they’re already the leader by not being restricted by one manufacturer, the OS itself being free and cheaper hardware.

In conclusion, Apple are the original and best for quality, and for the NICEIC and Clik Gas Cert we have the apps to support them for many years. Just as they’ve settled down nicely onto their throne though, Google have come along and punched them in the face. The future is looking very Android shaped and we will only have to follow suit (we’ve already hired a developer specifically for writing Android apps). Unless someone can release something groundbreaking, but that needs Steve Jobs coming back to life to deliver a new super phone, probably looking like a watch. It will be called the iWatch (this has already been invented, but no-one has noticed).

Words by: Ed Gunner

ps. I forgot about the new Microsoft Surface tablet. Although pricey, they run full Windows 8 and could potentially work with everything.

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