1 of 1 people found this helpful
First off, I'm sorry you're having to deal with the Android versions of the MC92N0. Zebra intended those devices to transition people to Android, but in practice they don't work the way that you'd expect them to given that they weren't purpose built for Android. The capacitive touch screen for instance doesn't work well with the Android OS that is expecting the user to interact with a resistive display.
Either way, you're stuck with the devices now. Are you dead set on using the TE client rather than Velocity? As mentioned in a previous thread, Wavelink (Ivanti now... I guess) is pouring a majority of their resources into developing and enhancing the Velocity product. I don't think you're going to find very much support for their Android TE client as that has effectively been shelved. You can run Velocity in "Native" mode which will still render as legacy green screens if there is concern around having to modernize each of your screens.
I'm sure this isn't the exact answer you wanted to hear, but you're definitely going to get more support from both the community and Wavelink Technical Support if you're using Velocity versus Android TE.
Thank you for that response. Very insightful and I had heard from our Zebra rep that this form factor coming with Android was kind of a carrot on a stick type of deal. When they axed the MC9190, I had our Zebra rep out to demo a few of their new toys. One of them was the MC9200 and he explained to me then that Android is a little unreliable as it isn't designed for a device like that. I am guessing the keyboard is one of the main pieces that it doesn't like. Android is touchscreen minded. Anyway, I had to go on leave for a couple months and while I was out, someone else stepped in who is very capable, but some bigger heads got into the mix too and decided to go with the MC9200/Android solution instead of the TC70 solution I was almost done getting approved for our environment. The TC70s were great, but a lot of people didn't care for the on screen keyboard. They like the hard keyboards better. There are some other models I'd like to try that are more cost effective and better, but you know how that goes.
- We just got done selecting an MDM for our handhelds and cell phones. We are just now getting an MDM with well over 500 handhelds in our environment. Yes I know...Believe me...I know. The business decided to go with AirWatch which isn't my first choice, but as long as it works, it is better than not having one. One concern we ran into with the Android 9200 was how we configure them. With Windows, we docked the device, loaded a preset config and pushed it. It is done in a minute. We found that with Android, this wouldn't be the case with TE. Since the 9200 doesn't have a 2D scanner, it couldn't read the barcode that Configurator generated. We also lock down the SSID the handheld connects to so no open internet. As a result, we had to export the configuration and host it on a make shift file server to get it onto the handheld. I haven't seen it, but I am told the MDM will allow us to just push out this file to the devices.
Question: Is there a better way to do this in this situation? AirWatch, Locked down SSID, 1D Scan Beam
- We are open minded to Velocity, but if we make that switch, it won't be anytime soon. For sure not until the MDM is put in place. What do you mean by modernize each screen? Sorry I have a general idea of what Velocity is and have never really used it. I have only seen a demo of it.
- Are you implying that the Caps Lock being engaged through out the duration of the TE session is not possible with Android? If that is the case, I am good with that because that gives me ammo.
- I honestly like the form factor of the 9200. We have used the 9190s, still have some 9090s and only Summer of 2016 did we get rid of the 9060s. It is a good product...just not with Android. They are a little overpriced for what we need the devices to do as well...From what you stated in your reply, in your opinion, will we continue to see issues with these Android devices if we stay with them in regards to Wavelink or anything else?
Thank you in advanced for your time. I am the one guy in the weeds with this stuff so I don't have much more than a wall to bounce things off of most of the time.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
"Thank you for that response....there are some other models I'd like to try that are more cost effective and better, but you know how that goes. "
The whole industry is in flux as we try to transition to Android. The mobile products that Zebra is now coming out with are all fantastic (MC70x, TC8000, TC51/56, WT6000, etc) but a lot of the applications just haven't caught up to the new form factors. Wavelink released Velocity with the intended purpose of easing that transition from "green screen" character based applications that rely heavily on keyboard input to a more touch friendly and user intuitive interface. They have succeeded for the most part, but there is still often a lot of work to be done to manually map a base telnet screen to a modernized version, especially since some key information like what function keys are valid on a particular screen may not be displayed on the base screen.
"Question: Is there a better way to do this in this situation? AirWatch, Locked down SSID, 1D Scan Beam"
I'm not particularly keen on leveraging AirWatch to manage Rugged devices but it does excel with iOS and Android based devices. AirWatch's pedigree is still very much in the BYOD space, so a lot of its design is based around that concept. This can be cumbersome when it comes to bulk enrolling a shared fleet of enterprise devices, as AirWatch almost expects each device to be manually enrolled into the MDM by the intended end user. Avalanche on the other hand has always excelled with more traditional Ruggedized Windows Mobile and Windows CE device and with bulk enrollment. They have implemented some basic Android and iOS MDM features into Avalanche, but no where near as many features as they have for your legacy equipment. At the end of the day, I would still give the nod to using Avalanche with any Zebra/Motorola devices, even though AirWatch technically purchased MSP, but I'm also under the opinion that any MDM is better than no MDM. I suggest looking into Zebra's StageNow tool and researching more about their MX platform. Android and iOS can be tricky operating systems to manage as you likely won't have as easy as a process of copying configuration files to a particular directory and then rebooting a device. Zebra however, has built in a lot of configuration hooks into their version of Android that make managing their devices a lot more reasonable than an off the shelf flavor of Android. You will find that the MDM will likely act as a fancy Asset Management tool while StageNow has most of the power for making configuration changes on the devices. It's really a shame you don't have the 2D Imagers on the MC92N0 as that will significantly increase the number of StageNow barcodes that you'll have to scan.
"What do you mean by modernize each screen?"
" Are you implying that the Caps Lock being engaged through out the duration of the TE session is not possible with Android? If that is the case, I am good with that because that gives me ammo."
I am implying that in general, the Wavelink Android TE client is going to be relatively limited in functionality versus what you may have gotten used to with TelnetCE. I'm not saying that it's not possible to have Caps Lock always enabled, I'm saying that if it's not currently an option, I don't think it ever will be.
"I honestly like the form factor of the 9200. We have used the 9190s, still have some 9090s and only Summer of 2016 did we get rid of the 9060s. It is a good product...just not with Android. They are a little overpriced for what we need the devices to do as well...From what you stated in your reply, in your opinion, will we continue to see issues with these Android devices if we stay with them in regards to Wavelink or anything else?"
The MC9xxx has been the industry workhorse for a very long time now but it's days are coming to a close. The CE/EC7 MC92N0 will very likely be the last generation of that form factor from Zebra as they transition away from Windows Mobile and Windows CE (Microsoft left them with no choice there) and to Android. The TC8000 is the new workhorse that they're moving forward with. And yes, I believe you will continue to experience quirks and issues with the Android based MC92N0 to the point where you may consider writing off Android entirely. I can attest to Android being the Enterprise Operating system of the future, so please don't give up hope, just remember that you're running a half-baked solution that combines a modern mobile operating system with hardware that was purpose built for the previous generation.
Thank you for the insight. It confirms a lot of my hesitations.
We are a Zebra partner although I am not sure how much that partnership is utilized. I had Zebra onsite about 18 months ago or so. Our rep along with some of the engineers that helped design the hardware and various tools also came. They showcased their latest and greatest wares and gave me some insight on where things are going and what we need to consider. Their eyes lit up like Christmas when I told them we had no MDM...And when I say that, we had an incredibly old instance of MSP that no longer worked. We still have it actually. Once the early 2000s nostalgia hits, we will put it on ebay or something. They had some incredibly cool technology that I loved and wanted to pursue which lead to the TC70s which lead back the the MC9200. I loved the TC8000, but it is still too pricey for what we are using these handhelds for. I also pushed REALLY hard for SOTI. I had a presentation together that would have sold AirWatch on moving to it, but they didn't want to spend the money at the time. Not until it fails and entire operations are disabled anyway. I saw the GUI that the TC8000 had and drooled. The feel of them in your hand is equal to their reputation. We have a handful of 2D imagers in our environment that we received by mistake, but needed a handheld so instead of waiting, I figured out how to get them to work with 1D barcodes. We use them today, but we really have almost no need for them unless we run this fix that makes scanning tolerable.
I really appreciate the insight. I am going to use it as ammo to once again try and convince the powers that be to get us up to 2011....That is a little ambitious, but you have to start out way high when negotiating. We are going to be implementing AirWatch by Spring time and we might as well use this as an opportunity to upgrade the handheld solution we have used for 15 years and put something in place that can carry us another 15 years...at least. I think at minimum we need to shoot for implementing Velocity, but I am going to push hard to look at other devices that aren't so expensive that are better suited for what we need. Hearing that our solution as new as it is to us is already on borrowed time, I might get them to budge a smidge.
I actually got a response on the ticket I submitted right before I left today so I am going to setup a call on Thursday to see what can be done with the caps thing.
Thank you again for your time. I could read about this stuff all day. I am entirely self taught by trial and error over the years and little gems like this are like finding a secret door in Zelda or something.
I am hoping to have a call with support today to discuss this issue, but thought I'd add that I put the TE client on my Galaxy S6 and set it up just like we do our other handhelds as far what it is connecting to and emulation parameters. I was able to get the Caps to work as we need it to. I had a buddy try it on his Note and it works there as well. Starting to look more and more like the hardware.