I'm a field/mapping technician at a small municipal electric utility and have recently started making the transition to ArcGIS Pro/ArcGIS online from years of using ArcMap/ArcCatalog. I recently was using the Publisher extension to be able to put maps on Windows 10 tablets so linemen can view the maps (offline read only using ArcReader) in the field. I want them to be able to view the maps, but not be able to make any changes.
While having some PC issues, an ESRI customer service rep told me about the benefits of transitioning to ArcGIS Pro so it peaked my interest. I think it's great to be able to upload maps and have members of your organization view them from the field, and it would allow me to make changes and upload the latest maps without having to collect all the tablets to put the content on like I'm currently doing with ArcReader.
Here's the problem - it looks as though ArcGIS online is really geared towards iOS, and I have no Apple devices at this time. The ArcGIS Explorer app for the Windows 10 tablet is currently in Beta, and does not work very well, and does not work offline at all. A customer service rep told me I could use the Collector app, but the workarounds to be able to use the maps offline is very time consuming, and I haven't been able to figure it out yet. Also, we have 20+ maps that would need to be viewed at any given point offline in the field. An example of this would be a power outage in a remote area - the line crew would need to pull out the tablets offline and be able to view the maps without having the luxury of coming back to the shop, docking their tablets (because our office doesn't have wifi.........) and downloading the map. It's worth mentioning that I have an Android phone, and the collector app works fairly well but crashes from time to time.
So the question is, what are my options with my current setup? I would love to have my organization purchase iPads with cell connections, but I don't see them going for that since some of our other software is Windows based and we already have 4 Windows 10 tablets that cost around $2,000 each.