Making the Android™ Operating System “Ready” for Parking Enforcement Agencies

17 Dec 2013

by Honeywell Scanning and Mobility

Parking enforcement software solutions for parking management agencies have been historically dominated by Microsoft® operating systems like Windows® CE and Windows® Embedded Handheld. As end-users expect their work devices and applications to look and function like personal devices, application developers have recently begun looking for viable alternatives. Google® Android™ is being watched closely, due to its popularity in the consumer smartphone market to enhance the user experience.

Android Parking Software

Both end-users and application developers have recently begun looking for a viable alternative. Google® Android™ has emerged as the OS that most businesses and developers are evaluating primarily due to its popularity in the consumer smartphone market and the following several reasons:

• More and more parking managers expect e-ticketing software solutions to include the same user experience as consumer smartphones. The ease-of-adoption lowers the training costs associated with deployment, especially among younger workers.

• In general, the Android™ OS is considered more modern and optimized for touch applications.

• Enterprises are looking to develop applications that may be provisioned to their employees and also offered directly to consumers on their own devices.

• Some developers feel that it is faster to develop applications for Google® Android™

• The Android™ Market Place has hundreds of thousands of applications that may be helpful for end-users in day-to-day activities and also provides a new route to market for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).

• Some companies are simply frustrated with Microsoft® and don’t see a clear roadmap beyond Windows® Embedded Handheld 6.5.

The demand for the new generation of mobile is a strong indicator that the market is dictating a new direction for commercial devices. Below are best practices and considerations when evaluating the most talked about issue when it comes to the new mobile revolution: security. New innovations are being developed that not only make Android™ a viable e-ticketing solution, but a more affordable one opening the doors to smaller government agencies including parking enforcement and police agencies with modest budgets.

Device Management Considerations for the IT Professional

 android-parking-softwareThere are number of OEM device management solutions emerging for the rapidly growing Android™ commercial market that greatly reduce the work and effort needed by IT support personnel to deploy and manage devices with an Android™ operating system. Below are some considerations when managing your fleet of Android™ devices:

Root-Access

There are number of OEM device management solutions emerging for the rapidly growing Android™ commercial market that greatly reduce the work and effort needed by IT support personnel to deploy and manage devices with an Android™ operating system. Below are some considerations when managing your fleet of Android™ devices:

By locking users into a kiosk mode or locking down menus it is possible to prevent users from changing device settings and getting root access. Best practices can be implemented such as setting up protocol to detect devices that have been rooted and take pre-defined actions to respond to this risk by removing the device from the corporate network or locking it down.

Managing Permissions, Applications and Mobile Malware

There are several ways to tackle issues related to applications and malware. First, by offering a kiosk mode end-users can be locked into an environment where they are unable to access, for example, the Internet or mobile market places. Additionally, certain hardware features can be disabled such as Bluetooth®, phone, or Wi-Fi™. These settings can be applied both on individual user and group level. IT managers can create lists of allowed and not-allowed applications and also monitor applications installed on devices and silently removing them if needed.

Privacy

When deploying units, the IT department can enable global settings that can, for example, prevent the use of GPS altogether or limit which applications can access the GPS information. Similarly a list of allowed applications can be used to tackle privacy issues.

Lost or Stolen Devices

IT departments can wipe, kill, and pull data from stolen or lost devices. In addition, measures can be used to enforce the use of complex passwords that will make it difficult to take advantage of a lost or stolen device.

Managing Exchange ActiveSync Environments

Control email authentication to the email authentication by verifying the actual device so the user will not be able to receive email from non-trusted devices until admin grants permission. Similarly, IT administration can enforce the requirement that users must be enrolled before they can access their corporate email.

Should a greater level of Exchange Email control be desired, there are many third-party solutions to compliment this environment allowing for advanced configuration of Exchange Email settings and a configurable sandbox where corporate email settings can be enforced and data loss prevented.

Remote Installation

Quickly and easily create packages of software/data that can be deployed to mobile devices. Automatically execute and process other types of files on the mobile device. In addition, users have the option of adding scripts that get automatically executed at various points during the installation or uninstallation of the package.

Wireless Internet and Unprotected Networks

IT managers can create, edit and delete configuration profiles including initial configuration like Wireless ZeroConfig, SummitWireless settings, Fusion settings, Devicescape Wireless settings, Static IP, Cellular connection (APN) Settings.

Data Storage

It is recommended that the ISVs rely on application level encryption. It is also possible to enforce the use of complex passwords that will prevent hackers from accessing stored data in case a device is lost or stolen.

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