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Android progression from KitKat to Lollipop and Marshmallow

This autumn/fall will see a progression from KitKat to either Lollipop or Marshmallow for some of our most popular rugged Android tablets and rugged Android smartphones.

First up is our best selling Android device, the CONKER ST5 rugged Android smartphone which has recently been upgraded to 4G LTE with a faster CPU, 13MP Sony Camera and Android 5.1 Lollipop. This revised model we be offered alongside it’s identical looking predecessor so that we can continue to offer an economical 3G solution for existing customers and equally to new customers that do not qualify the upgrades.

Our second best Android device, the CONKER ST7 rugged Android tablet is soon to receive a platform upgrade to 4G LTE, in this instance with a doubling of memory and Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Another our Android tablets, the CONKER SX7 rugged Android tablet is lucky to be receiving an update to Android 5.1 Lollipop; there is no hardware update currently proposed. This means that current owners of the SX7 (with 4G devices) will be able to upgrade their firmware to Android 5.1. Please contact us for further details.

One of the greatest bugbears of the Android platform has long been fragmentation caused by a relentless iteration by Google without any inherent upgradability in the core platform. As of March 2016 Lollipop became the most used version of Android at 36.1% pushing out the former leader, KitKat, at 34.3%. What’s most significant is that this occured 16 months after Lollipop became available and moreover that KitKat is now over 2 ½ years old.

In the rugged and industrial space devices are typically “behind the curve” so to speak, favouring long term stability over being first to market with new OS versions. For existing customers this is precisely as it should be. Sadly for new customers it is bemusing and frustrating because it is so often the case that if an organisation is seeking rugged Android tablets for a newly developed application they often develop using the latest Android API level making use of the latest features and often perform development testing on flahship devices such as the Google Nexus line.

Upgradability is not inherent to Android as previously mentioned, somewhat of an industry anomally. Users are familiar with upgrade paths for technology with most software and indeed much hardware but Google have left the updating of Android down to individual OEMs and anything other than minor patches (themselves rare) are not truly upgrades, rather a complete device re-flash. As a result the industry – which is consumer not corporate lead – has generally preferred upgrade by replacement; a poor model for businesses.

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