UPDATED FOR 2019-ready devices:
Service Autopilot Members frequently ask us, “What’s the best phone or tablet for using the Mobile App?”
Running a service business is already a ton of work, so we’re going to save you the time and effort of hunting down the best mobile devices, and give you our list of recommendations.
These mobile devices will give you the best experience (and the best value) when using Service Autopilot in the field.
Table of Contents:
Your intrepid blogger spoke with Ron Harris, one of the developers responsible for our mobile app, about the minimum specs he would recommend for a good experience with a mobile device.
If any of that is Greek to you, never fear; I’ll explain.
Ron’s Recommendations, in plain English:
A very inexpensive and popular option is the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S9. The S8 has an octo-core processor (pretty smart brain), 6GB+ of RAM (able to remember and think about more things all at once) and has the quality of coming from one of the major phone manufacturers.
This is personal preference; either will work well with the Service Autopilot's mobile app. The app has been developed to work across all screen sizes, so the decision comes down to budget and how the device will be used in the field.
Recommended Makes and Models:
Recommended Makes and Models:
The second most common question in these calls is: how much data should I be paying for? There are a number of variables that go into how much data you'll use each month that make it impossible for us to give you a ballpark figure. The number of devices, amount of other data use the devices will see, whether you're GPS-tracking your resources (and how frequently that tracking is updated) all play into the amount of data used.
You can use data calculators provided by AT&T and Verizon to get a better idea of data usage based on what you know about your business (how many emails go out a day, on average, etc.) AT&T doesn't offer a navigation minutes (using GPS) slider, but you can use the hours of web surfing as an approximation for GPS Resource Tracking.
Our best recommendation is to use the calculators above and then test the waters for a few months. The major carriers offer metrics so that you can look at your usage over several months and update your data plan accordingly.
Case. Put the phone or tablet in a case. Check to see if LifeProof makes a case for your phone (they make them for Apple and Samsung releases, mostly). Their cases are waterproof and can bring your device through a nasty tumble, wet or not. If you can’t get a LifeProof, get an Otterbox or another type of cushioned case, so that your device is protected from falls.
Stylus. This will make signing off on estimates feel easier and more professional for clients. In addition, it can make using your device easier with gloves or dirty hands. Make sure you get one that works with a capacitive touch screen (most styluses available for sale right now will be).
Holster. Keep the device hooked on to a belt or the jeans of your employees. It’s difficult to pull a rubber-cased phone out of a jean pocket when it’s 95* and your hands are dirty or wet. Make sure calls are answered and schedule updates received by making it easy on the employees.
Mount. A mount for the truck or van is absolutely necessary. It keeps the device out of your employees' hands, even when being used for navigation. Many retailers offer a range of options here. Personally, I prefer the variety that suction-cup to the windshield because they make the device available at a glance while driving.
Car charger. A device without a battery is useless. Make sure your employees are able to keep their devices charged throughout the day. This becomes especially important if the device is used for navigation or to track resources in Service Autopilot.
You’ve chosen a phone or a tablet for your employees, but who’s going to pay for it? You have a few options here:
Any of the devices from our recommended lists will perform well for your company.
A quality device in the hands of your employees with reliable service helps eliminate inefficiencies and frustration. Cheaper alternatives will only slow your team down. Choose the best mobile device for your company and put your employees in a position to succeed.
Updated Jan 22, 2019 7:00 AM
Tags: Business Operation