Android Support Center

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Microsoft is Ending Extended Support for Windows

There are 2 important dates Windows users should keep in mind. Microsoft is ending extended support for:

  • Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 on January 14, 2020

  • Windows CE 7 on April 13, 2021

What happens on these days?

Your device won’t self-destruct or freeze-up permanently. Your device will still work!

But what it does mean is that there won’t be any more support or security updates from Microsoft for the OS. Though many of the hardware manufactures we work with regularly issue performance updates, there’s a lot they won’t be able to fix after this date. For example, if there’s an issue in the kernel (or the program at the core of the OS), the device won’t be fixable.

Beyond the worst case scenario of your device not working, you will likely see slower processing and scan speeds and a general degradation in performance. This is true for any aging device, especially if supporting video or voice.

Android FAQs

With extended support for Windows ending, Android has emerged as the OS of choice for users. But what will this change mean for your business? Here’s answers to some frequently asked questions about the transition to Android.

Why Android over Windows?

The biggest reason for transitioning to Android is Windows is discontinuing extended support for their CE and embedded handheld devices, which means there will be no more security updates and no OS support from them after the specific . The end of support dates are:

  • January 14, 2020 for Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5

  • April 13, 2021 for Windows CE 7

Is Android secure?

Yes. The Android platform features robust security built-in to protect sensitive data from every threat. Google Play Protect intercepts malware threats in real-time to protect devices from potentially harmful apps in the Google Play Store and from across the web. 99.95% of devices that use Google Play are free of potentially harmful apps. Android devices use a trusted execution environment (TEE), to run privileged or security-sensitive operations such as PIN verification and Verified Boot. Tamper-resistant hardware support was recently added for even greater protection.

In addition and separate from OS updates, Google issues monthly security patches to address the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Android is open source, so it can be easily scrutinized by security experts around the world, and threats can be addressed quickly.

What is the difference between GMS and Non-GMS Android?

Android has two different versions that you can get with most mobile computing devices.

  1. Android GMS (Google Mobility Services) - is a collection of Google Applications and APIs that support functionality across devices. They provide Google based apps like Chrome, Gmail, Maps, Youtube, and most importantly, the Google Play Store. Everything else about the android versions is the same.

  2. Android Non-GMS - this version of Android comes without GMS installed. This means that the device will work the same but will not have the ability to add apps from the Google Play store. With non-GMS versions of Android, apps need to be side-loaded onto the device.

Side-loading apps is a method to add apps when the device doesn’t have GMS or when the Play store on a GMS device doesn’t have the app you are looking for. It involves connecting the device to a computer or connecting external storage to the device and running an app installation file or .APK.

Certain apps are only available through GMS. The other thing to be aware of is the fact that some apps you may side-load while the device has GMS may be removed due to a part of GMS called Play Protect. This service runs in the background of the Google Play Store and removes any apps it deems harmful. Most apps that are side-loaded will pass this scrutinization. However, any app that is side-loaded that affects the root directory of the device will be removed on the spot, even if it isn’t harmful.

What new capabilities does Android offer?

The ability to install apps through the Google Play Store is a big one, as you no longer need to push files using a cradle or SD card.

Android offers the ability to have both work and home profiles that can be used if the company has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy or if they provide phones to employees fo use on and off the clock, giving you the ability to lock down the work profile after hours.

Android also gives haptic or touch vibration feedback for loud environments. This way if you are in the warehousing or manufacturing space, you can still tell good reads even when you can’t hear beeps.

What about my current apps on my Windows device?

Some Windows-based apps have already been released for Android. Many developers of telnet clients have also released Android compatible utilities.

RDP clients are another popular method of running applications on mobile computers. There are several Android-based RDP clients currently available such as Jump Desktop and others.

Web-based applications maybe be usable with little to no changes. Applications built natively for Windows may require minor tweaks or a major re-write . . . it just depends.

Is Android future-proof?

Yes, Android is constantly releasing new updates, new security patches, and new versions of the software. We see these being supported not only by Android, but also by hardware manufacturers like Zebra and Honeywell. Their plans include supporting devices for the next two software releases. That means if they release a device running Android O (Oreo) it will cover through Android P (Pie) and Android R (not yet named).

Is another OS migration likely to happen again?

Not likely! Windows is getting out of the market completely, and Android has emerged as the clear leader in this field. The good news is that Android is a great operating system! With its widespread use on the consumer side, it is unlikely Android would discontinue support of their OS. Instead, they plan on making it better.

Lifecycle Management

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You’re considering making an investment in technology, but want assurance that your investment is protected. We’ve got you covered from beginning to end.

  • Initial Design - Matching the right device to your needs by understanding workflows and processes.

  • Device Support - Whether you’re looking for device configuration, software upgrades, on-site training, remote support, ADI does that and more.

  • Repair/Refurbish - ADI offers service contracts and break-fix services for all devices. On-site and depot options.

  • Buy-back /Trade-in Programs - The one thing constant about technology is it is always changing. To protect your investment, ADI offers buy-back and trade-in programs, providing an easy way to upgrade equipment as your needs change.

  • Rental Programs - Sometimes renting equipment for a specific need or a seasonal spike in business makes more sense than purchasing the equipment. ADI rents equipment.