Once you have established the key functionality of your hardware and selected the software that will best meet your needs, it is time to select a device.
Below I have provided some recommended mobile devices and comments regarding each option.
- iPad 3 (or 4) with 4G – You must purchase the version that works with the cellular network in order to get a built-in GPS. The iPad 3 and 4 work with both GPS and GLONASS. You do not need a cellular data plan to use the GPS functionality. Be careful when talking to a sales person about this as some think the Wi-Fi models have GPS capability.
- iPad Mini with 4G – As above, if you want the GPS and GLONASS capability it must have the ability to work with the cell network.
- iPhone 4S or 5 – Both of these models work with both the GPS and GLONASS satellite constellations. Griffin, LifeProof and Otterbox all make cases that provide good protection from moisture and physical damage.
Please keep in mind that new devices are being introduced frequently. Consequently these recommendations are difficult to keep up to date.
What would I choose if it was my business?
If it was my business and I was faced with determining standards for devices and the Operating System, I would select the Apple products. I would purchase refurbished devices from the Apple online store as this will reduce the cost by about 10%. My devices of choice would be the iPhone 4S, iPad Mini 4G or iPad 3 4G. These devices all have built-in GPS/GLONASS receivers. For business use I would get the models with 16 GB of memory. For combined business and personal use I would get 32GB of memory as music, photos and movies eat up hard drive space. As for a case to protect these devices, my first choice would be those made by LifeProof and my second choice would be the Griffin Survivor for the tablets. For the phones my first choice would be the Otterbox Armor Series followed by the LifeProof cases.
There are many things I do not like about Apple products – like the control Apple exerts over the Apps I can use and the limited ways in which I can transfer data between a PC and the mobile devices. However, for a small business owner this is actually an advantage as it forces uniformity among all users and thus makes it much easier to provide training and support. This also comes with enhanced security for Apple devices – relative to the Android OS.