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General Android FAQs

What are the advantages to the Android OS?
 

Android has many advantages over Windows Mobile and iOS:

 

Where can I find updates and release notes for my Android software?
 

The latest software updates and release notes can be found on the Downloads page.

How can I update my device using the OTA update feature?
  1. First make sure that you have a valid data connection (GSM, WiFi or Ethernet).
  2. Then access the Settings menu from either the Home Screen or the Application Drawer.
  3. From the Settings menu select About phone -> Check for Updates, then Download Latest Updates and finally Apply Latest Updates.
  4. Your device will reboot into the recovery partition and apply the necessary changes to bring your device up to the latest release.

If you have a slow network connection, the download process will continue to work in the background while you use the device for other operations. The status of the download can be monitored in the pull-down Notification bar. The size of most OTA updates is in the range of 2 to 3 megabytes.

I've downloaded the latest release ISO image for my device. How can I use this to reflash my device?

 

  1. Burn the ISO to a CD. (Windows) (Mac)
  2. Boot the computer from that CD.
  3. Reset the device (e.g. press the Reset button or remove the battery).
  4. When you first see the SDG logo screen, quickly press the Up button 3 times to enter the reflashing screen.
  5. Connect the device to the computer (which is now booted from the CD) via USB cable.
  6. Flashing will start automatically (you'll see a progress indicator and status messages on the device screen).
  7. The device will reboot when flashing is complete.

 

Is there an SDK available for your Android (AOSP) devices?
The standard Android SDK is available here:

http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

Intents and example code for barcode scanning are available here:

http://developer.sdgsystems.com/sdk/SDGScanDemo.zip
http://developer.sdgsystems.com/sdk/Barcode_API_Dev_Doc.pdf

Developers can read from RFID using the Android NFC package. More documentation about Android NFC can be found here:

http://developer.android.com/reference/android/nfc/package-summary.html

More details and information can be found on our Developers page.

Can I download applications from the Android Market/Google Play?
 

Our Android is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) which does not include support for Google Play. We have found that many of our customers do not want Google Play on the rugged device so they can control what apps are installed. Users have the following options, and perhaps more, for installing applications.

  • Alternative markets such as the Amazon App Store can be installed to provide functionality that is similar to Google Play.
  • Customers can also install applications using the "adb" command from the Android SDK ('adb install '), or use the Android Central Side Load Wonder application on Windows.
  • Customers can copy an APK file to an SD card, then use the OI File Manager application to open and install the APK from the device itself.
  • Customers can browse to an APK in the web browser to install it.

Many applications found in the Market/Play may also be found for download at sites like http://www.androidfreeware.org/, http://www.aproov.com/, or http://freewarelovers.org/android/.

How do I ensure my application is compatible with Android (AOSP)?
 

Most applications should be compatible with the AOSP version of Android. However, applications that require any of the following may not be compatible with all devices:

  • Adobe Flash
  • OpenGL ES 1.0 or 2.0
  • ARMv6 or higher processor
  • Google Maps and those apps requiring the Maps API are not directly supported
  • Paid Google Play apps or those offering in-app purchases

 

How can I securely store data on my Android (AOSP) device?
 
SDG Systems supports the G&D Secure Mobile Card for Android using seek-for-android.
More information about the G&D Secure Mobile Card can be found here:
 
How do I take a screenshot in Android?
 
Android 2.1 or 2.3:

DDMS is located in the /tools folder of the Android SDK. To launch it, open a new command line (or Terminal on Mac/Linux), type "cd", then type "ddms" (or "./ddms" for Mac/Linux). For example:

> cd C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\tools

> ddms

Select your device from the list on the left, then press Control-S (Command-S on Mac) or choose "Screen Capture..." from the Device menu.

Click "Save" or "Copy" buttons to save a screenshot or copy to clipboard respectively.

Android 4.x:

Android 4.0 and above have a screenshot feature built-in. Just hold the Volume Down + Power buttons on your device for a few seconds and the screenshot will show up in Gallery.

I have a device with Windows Mobile. Can I convert it to Android?
 

Generally, conversion to Android must be performed by us at our offices for a fee. If the device was purchased from us with WM we may waive the fee for conversion. Please contact sales@sdgsystems.com for more information.

I have one of your devices with Android. Can I convert it to Windows Mobile?
 

Instructions for converting the device back to Windows Mobile are available for most devices. Note that once a device has been converted to WM it can only be converted back to Android by us at our offices. Please contact support@sdgsystems.com if you have any questions.

Note: The Trimble Nomad cannot be converted back to WM once it has been converted to Android.

I performed a factory reset on my Android (AOSP) 2.1 device and now I'm missing apps. How can I get them back?
 
A factory reset erases the /data and /cache directories on your device. This erases your personal data, any settings you may have configured, and any apps you have installed. Some apps that were pre-installed on your device are also erased:
 
OI File Manager
OI Notepad
ApiDemos
Barcode Scanner
 

OI File Manager and OI Notepad can be downloaded here: http://www.openintents.org/en/download

ApiDemos and Barcode Scanner can be restored by reflashing the device from the latest Android ISO.

Can I use Arabic/Persian (Farsi) on my Android device?
 
We have tested the "Ibrahim Arabic Keyboard" and successfully added an Arabic font to the BIP-6000 Android 2.3 using the instructions here:
 
If you need true "Farsi/Persian" there are similar instructions for that, though we have not tested them: http://www.pedramhayati.com/2011/05/15/persianfarsi-language-for-android/
 
How can an app developer provide app updates to AOSP devices that don't have Google Play?

The most common way for your app to update itself without using Google Play is to have it check a URL for an updated version of your app, then download the new APK and install it. Some code examples of how to accomplish this can be found here:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/15213211/update-an-android-app-without-google-play