The Oiphone-personal-hotspotTISS survey apps must have a data connection to the Internet. This is not a problem for smart phones (with 3G/4G). But most tablets only have Wifi, so they need help to get a connection to the internet when you are away from the office/home. While on-site, a Wifi-only Android tablet can share the internet connection provided by your smart phone via a Wifi Hotspot. Hotspots allow the phone to share its data contract with all your laptops and tablets.

 

Some technical stuff: While surveying, the inspection data is stored directly on the mobile device, so no internet connection is needed. Later when you are at home or in the office, the collected data can be sync’ed with the OTISS server. However, the OTISS apps require some initial contact with the OTISS server to display the maps and plans that you have provided, and in some cases they must use online maps direct from the internet. This means that you need a data connection to the internet for at least some of the survey time – read more about Offline Maps.

Below are some options for you to consider – they all work in roughly the same way. But do test it with your own equipment!

Android Tablets  – with smart phones

You can use a Wifi-only tablet for on-site surveying by sharing the internet connection provided by your smart phone. There is a “Wifi Hotspot” app provided on most smart phones.

  • While in the office or at home, the Android tablet uses is own Wifi to connect to the Internet and the OTISS server.
  • While on-site, turn on the phone’s Wifi Hotspot and put the phone in your pocket or bag. The phone allows your tablet to access the maps and data on the OTISS server.

Android Tablets – with iPhones

At present, our survey apps do not run on iPhone or iPad devices. But many OTISS customers use their iPhone together with an Android tablet for on-site surveys. Android tablets come in a range of shapes and sizes and tend to be less expensive than the iPad equivalents – also cheaper to replace if accidents happen on-site.

  • Download our data collection survey apps to the Android tablet.
  • While in the office or at home, the Android tablet uses is own Wifi to connect to the Internet and the OTISS server.
  • While on-site, turn on the iPhone’s “Personal Hotspot” feature and put the iPhone in your pocket or bag. The phone allows your tablet to access the maps and data on the OTISS server.

Android Tablets – with Mobile Broadband, Mifi

Rather than use your smart phone, you can buy a ‘Mobile Broadband’, ‘Mobile Wifi’ or ‘MiFi device with data contract (e.g. http://store.three.co.uk/Mobile_Broadband/MiFi). This is a separate device with its own SIM card and 3G/4G data contract. It sets up a small Wifi hotspot for use by all your laptops, tablets, etc. Some providers offer pay-as-you-go deals where you only pay a few pounds for a day’s usage – this way there is nothing to pay when you are not surveying.

  • While in the office or at home, the tablet uses is own Wifi to connect to the Internet and the OTISS server.
  • While on-site, turn on the little Mifi device (following the provider’s insctuctions) and put the device in your pocket or bag. The Mifi device allows your tablet to access the maps and data on the OTISS server.

Android Tablets – 3G/4G SIM+Wifi

Some tablets support 3G/4G and allow you to plug-in a SIM card with data contract. These tend to be more expensive that the ‘Wifi-only’ models.

  • While in the office or at home, the tablet uses its own Wifi to connect to the Internet and the OTISS server.
  • While on-site, the tablet uses the 3G/4G connection to download and sync the survey data and maps directly with the OTISS server.

This is the simplist solution, but you are paying for an extra 3G/4G data contract. Many providers offer pay-as-you-go deals where you only pay a few pounds for a day’s usage – this way there is nothing to pay when you are not surveying.

 

OTISS does not sell phones, tablets or phone contracts – you can get them at the usual phone and electronic retail places.