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For any business, choosing the right POS application is an important decision. Whether for retail, hospitality or kiosk, the choice depends on unique business needs and the right solution has to be able to offer the flexibility and reliability needed to keep trade running smoothly now and in the future.  An Android™ POS system could be an economical and cost effective choice, thanks to its ability to be flexible, adaptable and scalable as the business grows.  Android POS has been steadily increasing in adoption by SMEs for growing mobile payment and Tablet POS applications and by larger retailers to fulfil mobile POS transactions.  With its growing popularity, some Tier 1 retailers are now looking to Android as an alternative POS offering across their entire estate in place of legacy Windows or Linux based systems.   So what are the main advantages?

Choice of Device

One of the benefits of using an Android POS system is the wide range of manufacturers offering different devices that vary in cost and size. As retail and hospitality needs evolve with technologies such as order and pay at table as well as mobile payment, queue-busting and self-service ordering and click and collect terminals, the need for more diverse form factors has become essential.

Smaller, portable handheld devices are ideal for waiters or store staff to take mobile orders and payments, while larger tablets can be securely fixed at the point of sale for customer transactions.  Additionally, self-service kiosks featuring large screens and user friendly interfaces are ideal for retail and QSR applications for order and collection terminals in order to limit queues, or alternatively in hotels and venues as guest check-in and payment. The versatility of Android on a wide array of devices, both fixed and portable, has facilitated this. 

Scalable Hardware and features:

Another advantage is that Android devices are  available to suit all budgets.  Whereas typically bulky and expensive POS systems of the past required major investment to add additional systems, the fact that Android is available on such a variety of devices means it is easily scalable to suit a growing business and more devices can easily be added.

While there are many cheaper consumer grade devices to hand, if the application requires it, commercial grade, ruggedized Android devices are also available. These are ideal in environments such as kitchens and restaurants where more fragile tablets can be dropped, broken or water damaged.  Some devices also include features such as additional battery capacity or replaceable batteries, allowing for greater reliability, longevity and durability. As long as the chosen POS software is integrated with a range of different devices, it’s possible to use these in a mixed estate.

Connected peripherals

Android devices also have the ability to simply connect to, or to include, inbuilt peripheral devices which has led to an ever expanding choice of integrated peripherals including card machines, scanners, displays and biometric and NFC devices.  If a direct host connection is not required, devices can be directly connected to the tablet via multiple USB ports. 

There are a wide range of receipt and order printing choices too, from integrated printers in smaller handheld devices to mobile and desktop POS printers with features specifically geared towards the Android OS. In our next post, we’ll be looking specifically at the range of Star printing solutions available for Android POS.

Choice of Android POS Software

As well as the varied choice of devices and peripherals, the set-up of the Android operating system can allow for more varied customization for users on the software side, too.  If retailers or restaurant owners want to include certain features or wish to create a highly customized POS interface, this can be easily achieved. Android updates also take place in the background without interrupting service.

When it comes to software, thankfully there is a wide choice of market-leading Tablet POS providers whose systems operate on Android and many who are compatible with both iOS and Android.  Customers have a choice of whichever offers the best suited features for their application whilst all being built around the same familiar operating system.  We’ll be going more into depth about some of the current Android POS software available in our third and final article of this series. So look out for that in coming weeks.

Contact Star Today:

Working closely with Android software developers for many years, Star has a wide knowledge of the different software and hardware options available.  We’re happy to help with any enquiries about Android POS generally as well as provide support and advice for our innovative and affordable Android printing solutions. Why not get in touch with our Customer Success Team today and find out how we can help you.

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