Need to save lives, but also want to save time and money? Tick off these requirements and get the professional apps you need.
The mission critical professional world has clearly taken on board the hybrid concept for networks and devices.
This hybrid world is one in which current TETRA/Tetrapol solutions are used for mission-critical voice and data, with a LTE/4G/5G network serving non-critical broadband data.
A great way to embrace the new possibilities of broadband is to adopt mobile applications. But not just any apps - there are five key things to think about that will help you make the right choice.
1 Will it work in a tight situation?
Mission critical and public safety organizations are looking for solutions that:
- boost real-time communication for critical environments
- enhance crisis management
- shorten response times
- improve situational awareness.
In addition, the apps need to deliver very fast end-to-end communication. The user interface needs to be a “Mission Critical UX” – otherwise the app is useless when situations change rapidly. Ease of use is important, and of course, any mission critical application needs to allow the user to make the right decision in a split second.
2 Does it work end-to-end?
Apps must be able to work end-to-end, so developers must have proven experience of end-to-end solutions to win over professional purchasers.
An example of a broadband PTT solution that works end-to-end is Tactilon Agnet. It is a smart hybrid solution that easily integrates smart devices into your operational procedures - and if you wish - also with your existing infrastructure.
3 Does it work in a hybrid way?
Critical communications is becoming hybrid – complementing tried and trusted PMR networks with broadband. This is why hybrid devices are quickly becoming preferred over traditional PMR radios or simple smartphones.
And it’s not just the hardware. A unique solution exists which glues together the TETRA PMR API and Android. PMR users and Android apps can be brought together into a special ecosystem, which makes a powerful combination that can really support innovative uses.
4 Is it the right app, provided by the right vendor?
When choosing a professional app, choose developers and app vendors with proven experience in mission critical applications. They will be accustomed to the specific considerations needed when creating critical apps for professionals.
5 Last but not least: is it secure?
Security must come first for mission critical applications. They must be tested against any security threats and malware risks. They need to demonstrate they won’t break the mission critical PMR voice and data and don’t drain the battery life during field operations.
All mission critical solutions offered should be rigorously tested and certified during development to ensure the highest security and functionality standards.
Handpicked relevant content
When you are planning to buy a professional push-to-talk app - not just any app - be sure to look at these 17 must-haves for a professional PTT app.
Or take a short-cut and use this handy checklist to identify the PTT app that meets your professional requirements.
A demand for integrated apps
So, what’s the big push in mission critical mobile applications?
Many critical communications companies have their own apps which use smartphones – they also need to have a push-to-talk radio in the field, too, meaning that staff need to carry around two devices all the time.
There is growing demand in the market for integrated messaging apps – tailor made for the needs of users, they would help, say, firefighters, police officers and rescue service workers do their jobs better and feel safer. And the apps are already there – according to the Airbus survey 2020, only 10% of user organizations are not using apps at all – they’re just not very convenient to use with two devices.
Professional apps – users are ready
Professional users are ready for mobile apps which meet the five critical requirements. In fact, many professional organizations are using apps already in their daily routines, and most are also planning to introduce them in the future. The market for professional user apps looks rosy.
What professional apps developers should know
Professional users are pragmatic and open to adopting new capabilities. Unlike many in the consumer market, professionals are not especially biased towards a particular operating system and are not too concerned about the need for apps to support existing operational models. They are willing to change.
Tactilon Dabat, which combines a TETRA and broadband device in one is encouraging developers to produce new mission-critical apps and accessories for it. The SmarTWISP developer programme aims to create an ecosystem of the best mission critical application and accessory providers and has already attracted more than 50 companies.
Are you on top of the latest trends in professional apps? The sixth Mobile Apps Survey by Airbus reveals them. Download the survey report - "Where are professional apps heading?"
You may also want to look at the findings from the previous surveys into the state of professional apps - not just push to talk? You can see or download all six reports on the Professional app trends page.
Editor's note: This blog post was updated in Jul 2021 to link to the latest survey report, in Apr 2019 to add a tip about a handy checklist, and in Aug 2018 to add a tip about another blog post.