Why a Rugged PDA might not be the best tool for your business

Some things to consider before you make your decision.

Other rugged mobile learning articles

Classic Rugged Handheld PDAs don't fit business and enterprise in the year 2016

The Rugged PDA is not the best tool for 2016

Rugged PDAs were designed over 20 years ago and haven't changed much since. They no longer fit modern business.


Rugged mobile handhelds are typically expensive, needs expensive bespoke accessories to get them working out of the box and are expenisve to get workers using.

Long commitment with lengthy ROI

Ageing technology

Expensive and old support


Bring your own PDA doesn't work

Which one will your workers be familiar with?

The problem with Windows Mobile

Ageing Technology

The last time Windows mobile received an update was January 2010. How secure is that?

1.6% of total mobile OS share

Thats including Windows Phone, Windows embedded handheld and Windows mobile. Microsoft on mobile is all but dead.


An OS that was designed in 2005 with little changing x=since then means a rugged PDA has an OS that predates IOS or Android.

No App store

You must have developed your own app or have one designed and built for Windows mobile to work. With Android, you can hop to the play store and download form millions of pre-built apps.

Ageing Technology

The last time Windows mobile received an update was January 2010.

But my rugged pda has Android on it

Bolted on

A lot of rugged mobile PDAs brought out Android versions of their PDAs, but you need to scratch deeper to find out why this is flawed.

Old versions

Due to the poorer specs of older rugged handhelds, they will only run older versions of Android. Always check the OS version out.

Wrong CPU

Android works best on Qualcomm or MTK CPU's, in fact it's built for these and these are the main development streams for Android. Intel, X86 or Atom based CPU's do run Android but it's very different.

Keypads and screens

Android is built to work with full screen handhelds, with maybe a few bespoke function keys. It just doesn't flow with a numeric or qwerty keypad or QVGA/VGA screen like it should do.

Touchscreen with stylus...Really?

Android is not optimised to run on traditional "resistive touch" style screens that are driven by a stylus. Half the Android experience and efficiency is lost without a capactive screen.

Android play store

The era of the bespoke application is over, it has been for about 10 years.

Google Android play store

Apps are king

No mobile OS has as many pre-built apps, that can be downloaded from an app built right into Android itself.

Raptor mobile apps

Apps are cheap

Want Microsoft office? On Android it's free. Want an asset management app, it's probably under £10.

You can disconnect Google Play


Want to remove google play? Your handheld is then free from prying eyes just like Windows mobile.