This was when trying to use Android tablet as a cash register. In almost all cash register applications the cash drawer is tied directly to the receipt printer with a thin cable that looks like a conventional telephone land line cable. When the printer prints a receipt it also sends a signal to the cash drawer to open. In EVERY case the ability to trigger the cash drawer is handled in the PRINT DRIVER as a configurable setting.
Android doesn’t know anything about print drivers, so the best that could be accomplished is to send raw text to a networked receipt printer, but without the additional data in the packet to trigger the case drawer, it never opens.
This is also correct because all receipt printers come with Windows drivers and in those special drivers are easily configurable setting for opening the cash drawer on print. I have not found any workable drivers that can open cash drawers for any OS other than Windows.
Also true! Chrome OS has the same problem as Android. There is no ability to use printer drivers unless the manufacture does some monumental effort to provide a Chrome OS app to handle their printers. HP did this for most of their business class printers in Chrome OS but none of the receipt printer manufactures have done this. So, no cash register ability in Chrome OS.
Also very true… This is why we went with the ASUS 10" Windows 10 tablets for cash registers. They were half the price of the MS Surface devices and had extra USB ports to work with. That allowed us to tie the receipt printer and cash drawer directly to the tablet with a USB cable and install the standard drivers that came with the printer.
So, in short, the Android tablets are great mobile terminals if you use the mobile broadband connection so the wifi stays free to talk to the HP wireless printer. The Windows tablets make great cash registers on a local wifi network. Both Android and Windows tablets also work nicely with the Motorola LI4278 barcode scanners connected. The Android tablets connect directly to the LI4278 by bluetooth and only use their cradles as charging stations. The Windows tablets have the LI4278 cradles connected by USB right to the tablet along with the receipt printer.
1.) Would it have been nice to have a “single” tablet solution for all of this??? Well, yes, but the reality is that the different operating systems limit what can be done.
2.) So why not use the Windows tablets for both applications??? It turns out that Windows 10 on a tablet doe NOT work so well when trying to also connect to a mobile hotspot, a printer, and a barcode scanner all at the same time. The limited processor resources in the tablet just cannot keep up and something always drops out (usually the printer). this would cause excessive time delays in completing a sales invoice.
3.) What makes you so sure the WIn10 tablets would fail as mobile terminals??? Well, I actually spent the money to buy them all and deploy them only to find them failing multiple times per day and interrupting the sales process. I collected ALL of them back from the field and re-purchased the Adnroid tablets from Verizon and re-deployed in less than 48 hours to stop the losses. It cost me a TON of $$$ to make that mistake, so I do not make these claims lightly.
Hope this clarifies things a bit more…