MobileMap: Mobile Hardware / Device-Specific Notes


The purpose of this page is to document feedback we receive from users regarding their use of specific mobile devices for MobileMap. The goal is to help MobileMap users take advantage of information that other users of the same (or similar) device have discovered. It provides a place to capture known issues, workarounds, hardware accessories (e.g., cases), etc.

It is not an attempt to help users select the appropriate device(s) as this decision is based on currently available devices, operating environment (e.g., in the cab of a feller buncher where a large screen may be preferred vs. in the field in a wet climate where small and waterproof devices are preferred), user preferences, budget, connectivity, desired GPS accuracy and a range of additional considerations. It is also not an attempt to list or track all available devices or their specifications - new makes and models are constantly hitting the market and it would be difficult to maintain such a list.

With all of that said, we are frequently asked for hardware recommendations from our clients, and generally respond with the following information:

  • Our business partner LandMark Spatial Solutions specializes in the sale of field hardware including Android devices and can provide detailed, first-hand information and advise on a wide range of hardware options including phones, tablets, GPS units and other field equipment (e.g., drones, laser rangefinders and digital calipers). They can provide detailed specs on a range of currently available devices, including real-world GPS accuracy results from their GPS testing course.

  • Higher end devices from Samsung (e.g., Tab S series, Tab Active series) have performed well with MobileMap, are cost effective and have been found to be very reliable. Lower end Samsung devices (e.g., Tab A series) have been found to underperform for some users, especially when collecting high quantities of spatial data.

  • Samsung’s Tab Active line provides solid, rugged(ish) devices that are water resistant and can even work in the rain due to their active stylus (S-pen) technology.

  • Devices with an active stylus (e.g., Samsung’s S-Pen found on the Tab Active devices) can generally differentiate between raindrops and the stylus and help to eliminate false inputs from raindrops, snow, etc. MobileMap includes a ‘stylus only’ mode that can help ensure that MobileMap only responds to the stylus when it is available. Note that the software keyboard that pops up during data collection, even when using ‘stylus only’ mode, will still respond to non-stylus inputs (including a finger or raindrop) as this is a separate app.

  • Truly rugged solutions from Juniper Systems (e.g., Mesa3, Cedar CT8X2) and Handheld Group (e.g., NAUTIZ X6 ) may provide even better performance in severe conditions (extreme cold, heat, direct sunlight, long duration field collections, high likelihood being dropped or landing on rocks, etc.).

  • There are a limited number of modern Android devices with hardware keyboards. These devices tend to be more expensive but may offer better performance in very wet environments and in high data volume collection scenarios. Examples as of Spring 2024 include: Nautiz X81(physical numeric only keyboard) and Trimble TSC5 (grip-style device with full keyboard)

  • Regardless of the device(s) used, accessories including rugged cases, rugged screen protectors, anti-glare screen protectors, straps and harnesses, stylus leashes, extra batteries, external Bluetooth GPS, MicroSD cards, USB flash drives, etc. can all help to improve data accuracy and usability, redundancy and longevity of your hardware.

Specific Devices and Known Issues

Android 14

  • When installing MobileMap 4.x on Android 14 devices (or when a device upgrades to Android 14) users will receive a warning indicating that MobileMap was built for an earlier version of Android. Users can close this warning and use MobileMap as expected. This is a known issue and is caused by the version of the Android SDK that is used in MobileMap 4.x. This issue will be addressed with the Android 5.0 (currently in internal Alpha testing) release.

Samsung S24 Phones

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3

  • Known Issues:

    • When using the Download Base Map action on Tab Active 3’s running Android 12, the final step to rename the downloaded TPK to ‘.tpk’ does not complete. The result is a temporary file named ‘*.tpk.part’.

      • Solution: Find the downloaded file either in the folder specified by the user (Data Directory) and rename the ‘.tpk.part’ suffix by removing the ‘.part’ (e.g., basemap.tpk.part -> basemap.tpk).

Nautiz X6

  • Known Issues:

    • Using default settings, software keyboard covers the trees on the bottom of the tree list.

      • Solution: Use Settings > MobileMap Cruise > Trees > Tree List Keyboard Offset and enter a value of 200 (may need to adjust somewhat). This will add 200 pixels of blank space at the bottom of the tree list and prevent the keyboard from hiding the trees on the bottom of the list.

Trimble TSC5

  • Known Issues:

    • Download Basemap interface on this smaller screen does not allow the download button to be selected on MobileMap versions prior to 4.4.22

      • Solution: Use MobileMap versions 4.4.22 or higher on this device