Whilst Zebra’s new hardware releases, the TC52/57, TC72/77 and PS20 have rightfully been taking all the headlines recently, the Software organization has been busy adding some great new features and resources that I felt it was worth highlighting:
Android Oreo Updates
All our newly announced devices are shipping with Android Oreo, 8.1 out of the box and over the coming months many of our existing portfolio of devices will receive an Oreo update. Oreo comes with a raft of new platform features such as notification enhancements and improvements to power consumption, but Google has also changed how applications behave in the background which could impact your application migration from Nougat to Oreo. I go through all of the enterprise-facing changes in Oreo in my developer post and if you have any line of business applications which perform background tasks it is definitely worth checking out to understand what you need to do to migrate.
Enterprise Browser 2.0
The second major version of Enterprise Browser (EB) is due for release during the final quarter of this year and as always, has full backwards support for existing EB applications. EB 2.0 features a new licensing model on Android, an enhanced Button Bar feature and support for voice through the W3C speech API; it will also support additional SAP warehouse management systems and new devices including our Oreo devices and the much requested TC20/TC25. EB product manager Jocelyn Visco goes through some of these upcoming features in more detail in her separate post including some side by side comparisons.
Voice Through DataWedge
For many customers DataWedge is the unsung workhorse of their application deployments, providing data capture for barcodes, magnetic stripe cards, serial connections and SimulScan. The most recent versions of DataWedge now add voice capture to its list of input capabilities, allowing you to enter data by simply speaking to the application – for example stock control could be achieved by saying the item quantity rather than having to manually type in a number for every item scanned. Our documentation owner Eddie Correia goes into more detail in his 'Voice Input' feature guide on our techdocs site and runs through some samples.
Zebra’s GMS Restricted is a device state that provides complete control over which GMS applications and services are available on a Zebra device. Activating this state disables Google applications and services that are part of Google Mobile Services, providing improved control over data privacy.
You may be wondering where the AOSP SKUs are for our new Oreo devices (TC52/57, TC72/77 and PS20) – we have listened to the privacy concerns of our customers who previously opted for our AOSP devices and have started to address these with GMS Restricted. The first phase of this feature, already included in the new Oreo devices previously mentioned is the ability to disable all GMS packages and check out the App Manager documentation for more information. We will be adding additional capabilities to GMS Restricted over the coming months so look out for more announcements in the future.