Taking Gingerbread with a pinch of Salt!

Hi All,

There is a big Gingerbread confusion around in the meeting rooms here. Its tricky to explain you all as well. That OS will be lot more superior than 2.2. And there ARE few products hitting with 3.0 soon. It needs to be evaluated that what does that mean. The window is really small for 2.2 devices.

Things are strange which Google does, and they might do a lot, open a lot more And while they do all this, there are only few people who know what exactly. And now since that cannot be communicated it becomes a very difficult decision, especially for start-ups like us.

Back to the meeting.


38 thoughts on “Taking Gingerbread with a pinch of Salt!

  1. Dear Rohan,

    Nobody will complain about an Android 2.2 Adam,
    as long as you will have a very capable and fast team that will port Gingerbread as fast as possible when it is out.

    And please, DONT start trying to make it difficult for people to install their own custom ROMs. People who bought the device have the right to put whichever version of Android/Ubuntu/Chrome OS on it that they prefer.
    What you see these days that users of certain cell phones have to try all kinds of tricks, just to be able to update to a newer Android version. Because their manufacturer either doesn’t want to update it, or is too slow to update it.
    (seriously if programmers succeed in their free time porting FroYo to a previously 1.6 device BEFORE the “developpers” of that smartphone can do it, shame on those developpers!)

    And keep up the regular updates, people appreciate this!


  2. Lots of new tablets poping up. You people better hurry. After so many days I saw a new post highlighted in my RSS reader, I was hoping it to be about the launch announcement….but god knows how many days we have to wait for ADAM.

  3. Here a simple solution: release with Froyo, update to Gingerbread a few months later. Seriously, do you think you can afford any more delays at this point?

    What worries me is that this seems to mean the release date is still far away. I mean, you guys are *now* deciding on the operating system?

    Oh well. The first tablet with PQ screen gets my money. Adam seems wonderful, but for now I have no reason to believe it’s more than a mythical creature. Even the Pooja photos you posted recently contain an obvious mock-up (or an earlier prototype).

    Good luck.

  4. I have been in the same situation regarding startups. Now HTC is shipping Froyo with all there phones in China. Next thing is as you say is Gingerbread. But you have to get your product out to the market first. If you aim for a product that shall have everything you know it can do, you will lose the market. Go for Froyo now and then a new product that have Gingerbread Q3 2011.

  5. I wouldn’t bother with Gingerbread unless it brought some game-changing features that you feel the ADAM couldn’t live without… I mean, look at the Dell streak with its Android v1.6?!

    Would be ADAM owners will understand if it didn’t ship with the latest and greatest Android version and with your custom enhancements will be happy enough. Speaking of custom enhancements, this would further delay release if you did go with Gingerbread anway.

    What would be nice, is that you start shipping the ADAM with Android > v2 and then at the same time, start working with Gingerbread to get it ready for eventual release a short time after the ADAM release… to us customers, the time lag would seem shorter but to you guys you would’ve had more time between production updates.

  6. So your OS is not Android : it is an Android-like you have developed from Android.

    The question now is : will Android apps be compatible?

  7. How are you defining soon? I heard Gingerbread isn’t getting released until next year. Is that not accurate?

  8. If you can release your product before 3.0, then you should stick with 2.2 and then release an upgrade to 3.0 as soon as possible.

  9. Now you’re talking. Despite the cryptic nature of your blog, at least we can feel things are moving forward!

    Thanks Rohan, the updates are greatly appreciated!

  10. Cool! It is alleged Gingerbread is designed to target/cover tablet market. What a benison if Adam is shipped with the latest version of Android!

    One more thing to concern is that Pixel Qi’s screens seems not to support wide-view angle until Q4. Wish the advent of Adam would bring both of the two most powerful weapons.

  11. 2.2 will certainly do. 3.0 will has greater hardware requirements and that sounds like way more pain at the stage that you seem to be at. Please give us a device first! :)

  12. I suspect that releasing with 2.2 android (derived) OS now, will give you with a very faithful and active community of developers glad to help you on migrating to 3.0.

    Nothing could damage you more than deluded geeks that tired of waiting, choose the first (but not yours) Pixel Qi based slate; because blogs and webpages and wikis of who is not adoring the fruit bitten by Adam, will be full of trick, code, information, apps and more on that slate.

    We believe in you, please, believe in us all.

    Sorry for the captious English.

  13. namkroz is right, a platform easy to customize / update, with available specifications for accessing all hardware, will be a dream for every programmer and will make _your_ slate one of the most used. See what append with Linksys Access Points or with Arduino or every other ‘open spec’ hardware.

    Leaving your slate ‘open’ will NOT advantage your competitors, but will force them to make open their product or lose market share.

    You are not a cell-phone making company that realese a new (and often incompatible) model every two weeks, you can release a new model only every twelve month and be sure that every program, application or OS that worked on the previous one surely will run on the new one (or at least that who developed it, will try to make it work with perseverance and with the help of others interested).

    Don’t lose the support of thousands of (free) developers, testers, UI Engineers or geeks.

  14. Two update in as many days!!! But still no release date. That’s all I want to know. Anyone else agree?

  15. Two things,
    I’m delighted to see that you’ve opened comments without moderation. It shows an increased level of trust and interest in your potential customers, and it’s refreshing to feel like this blog is more “real time”, instead of suffering a lag time of weeks between mass-authorisations.

    Secondly, release ASAP with Froyo. Update to 3.0 later.
    As mentioned previously, do *not* fall into the trap of sealing the hardware; allow your customers to use the device as they see fit, and you will attract a healthy following of creative innovators, from whom you can learn also for the next device. Customers deserve the right to install their own ROMs if they choose to do so, although you are entitled to refuse them support if their antics damage the hardware, or to tell them their warranty is voided. What is important is the freedom!

    Happy to hear about progress with the ADAM. Looking forward to hearing a lot more. I will buy the first tablet with a Pixel Qi display and USB ports, but I’d like it to be yours.

  16. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast of the technology industry in which we work in… constant change! My suggestion (for what it is worth)… focus on Android 2.2. I had Android 2.1 and upgrade to 2.2 on my Nexus One. Its much faster than 2.1, supports Flash & Adobe AIR, etc… When Android 3.0 is officially released to where you can get the code and actually try it, then worry about getting it on to the ADAM.

    We certainly are living in exciting times! Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to get my hands on an ADAM. Cheers!

  17. There will allways be something new and exciting on the horizon, some of itusefull others just a promise. I have decided that you at Notion Ink, are just that, and maybe even less. From the very beginning your premise, check your 1st blogs, was that Adam would be the type of tablet that would grow with new developments; have the hardware that would be able to integrate new software developments. Know I hear different voices, the updates to the blogs seem to be written by different voices. Is this some kind of school project or a game?

  18. Dear Rohan,

    I think and a lot of the other waiting guys also do, that you must release the ADAM now. You can’t wait for Gingerbread or something else. If you won’t release the ADAM now, some else will release a device with Pixel QI screen and than you will loose a lot of customers, because the world is waiting for a Pixel Qi device.
    You will never be at the stage where you can say: This is the best OS, because Android, ChromeOS or Linux or something else are changing too fast.
    When Gingerbread is ready for ADAM release an upgrade, but don’t wait.

    Wish I will hear a release date of ADAM soon.


  19. You mentioned a window for 2.2 devices. I think delaying to include OS 3.0 may make you miss the “tablet” window. The word tablet is starting to become synonymous with the word iPad, much like Xerox for copying. Given Apple’s already impressive market lead, do you have the time to wait. Soon you will be swimming in competition and will not be the only tablet with a unique screen. Gaining market share and attention will be much more difficult when you are not “the alternative” to an iPad.

  20. As long as the Adam is upgradeable I would say release ASAP and upgrade latter. It has worked for all the other Android products (that were supported by the manufacturer) My phone was released with 1.5, and now it’s running 2.1! I can’t wait to find a way to shoe-horn 2.2 into it :D

  21. It’s a simple trade off. If you manage to push Adam on the market before Gingerbread is released, I don’t see a single reason, why you shouldn’t do so. If Adam hits the market when Gingerbread (which still hasn’t been announced, btw) is out for a up to two month, nobody will kill you for doing so, because everyone knows that software needs testing. You just have to update Adam as soon as you can (maybe write some blogposts about what the issues are, or release early, release often (beta releases for enthusiasts) and/or enable the community to run their own modded Android (or even GNU/Linux) versions on Adam – and everybody will be perfectly happy.

    I would be happy to be able to buy Adam as soon as possible.

  22. Personally I agree. If Gingerbread would delay the Adam, best to release with Froyo and offer an update if possible later down the line. But then again, I say this not knowing any of the advantages of Gingerbread and not knowing how hard it would be for a start-up to develop the upgrade. But then again, that could be an advantage. If you release with Froyo and then have TIMELY update with Gingerbread (that was not a jab at the blog updates but rather the delays of many cell makers in updating things from 1.5 or 1.6 to something better), well, if you do that then it would show a VERY good aspect of quality service and dedication to your consumers.

    If the rumors I’ve read are true, and it’s not becoming available till mid October with product launches in November/December… well, it’d be a big delay possibly and you’d risk alienating more customers. I am still an avid supporter but it’d be foolish to ignore the negative feedback from a lack of a release date/delays.

    Well, I hope all goes well.

  23. kindle is out for 139$, flood of android tablets is coming out soon and you are debating about the OS? FFS its either you release it now. or it wont be succeed outside India.

  24. It will never end, new software, next gen hardware..then newer software.. the next gen 2 hardware.. then newest software…..

    give an upgrade path whether thru a separate application or Just download on memory stick and update adam. it does not matter.

    bigger question is how soon can you get the product in consumers hand ? don’t leave a fruit on tree for long to ripe, for it may be spoilt before it even got off. like many have expressed here, and expressing too…

    you say before november, August is round the corner.. can’t you give a launch date yet ???

  25. .
    What? Are you really considering launching NI Adam with Gingerbread?

    You gotta be jocking.

    Short Answer: DONT.

    Long Answer: Really? Adam already has FroYo? Leave it FroYo! Heck, just now cellphones companies are rolling out FroYo and you’re considering Gingerbread?

    Unless… this is like Sunchicax said… that the release date is far from now, so much that if you release it with FroYo , it’ll be outdated.

    You know? I dont care. Even if Gingerbread is all around, I still prefer the Adam coming out sooner with 2.2 than with 3.0 if that means pushing the date even more.

    Good luck there, NI Team.

  26. I don’t think you can afford to keep pushing it back b/c of another Android update! If the tablet does not make it out by the holiday, it will likely fail… at least with the mainstream consumer. Knowing that Gingerbread is on the horizon only means that your dev team will be busy preparing updates POST-LAUNCH… at least that’s what it should mean.

  27. Something you should try to do is set a cadence for yourself, say “upgrade to the newest version every 4 months, no matter what ‘newest’ means”.

    Consumers like predictability too, so they’ll like that even if you don’t upgrade as often as the competition. To give you a real-life example, I am on Android 1.5 on my f****** phone, if only I knew better…

  28. Upon some more careful consideration, I think I understand why this solution (release with 2.2 and update to 3.0 soon afterwards) might not be that simple.

    We don’t really know the details of what Gingerbread will bring, but rumor has it that one of the most important innovations should be the “decoupling” of custom UI “skin” (device/manufacturer dependent) from the rest of the Android OS (and applications). This is a welcome feature, since this way the future OS upgrades will not depend on the manufacturer whims (the awful truth: more than 50% of android phones still run on versions 1.x), they can be implemented as soon as they are released (by Google et al), and the custom skin will practically be just another application. Now from the point of view of the hardware manufacturer like NI who needs to produce quite a few custom “tweaks” due to the nature of the device, the difference between these two approaches must be enormous, meaning that implementing both of them is a major pain in the neck.

    But still… The earliest Gingerbread devices can be expected in December or so. That is way too late, people will go for other options, and there will likely be quite a few of those at the time.

  29. Thank you Rohan for the update.

    I’d be happy to have a device with 3.0, but that’s absolutely the last thing I care about. I will updating my device to the next version of Android the day Google releases it regardless of whether or not you release an update to your release of the OS. If this breaks all of the enhancements you add, I won’t be too upset. I’m not one to care about enhancements. In my experience, enhancements & extra software added by my computer manufacturer usually hinder my ability to use my computer. I just uninstall them and find different software.

    I’m hoping to get an Adam because it looks like a solid product. But I need a tablet for grad school, which starts in just a month, and I’m going to buy the first decent tablet I see with a Pixel Qi display.

    I really hope it’s the Adam, and I really hope it comes out soon to help with grad school.

  30. There will always be a new version of Android coming out. You can’t keep waiting for the next release to come out. You’d never get Adam out! And other tablets wirh similar specs may come out in the meantime. Even if these tablets don’t do well it is bad for you. People will start to think Android isn’t good on tablets.
    I also agree that you should embrace modders. I am running Froyo on my Eris. HTC isn’t releasing Froyo for this phone. So I have modders to thank for that. Embracing them would give you a loyal following. You could fashion yourself like the Apple of old. Going up against Big Brother. Except, this time, Big Brother is Apple.

  31. Rohan,

    I’m not in your industry but I want to give you some advice that I hope you at least read. You must get your product out. In the computer industry, there will always be a new software version that is coming out soon. You can’t wait for the newest version to launch your device.

    Get the hardware built with the ability to load software upgrades but get it built. If ADAM is set to run with 2.0, 2.1, or even 2.2, launch it as is and start prepping for an upgrade but get it out already. Don’t put a buggy device out but you get the idea. I’m going to assume that the number of people who know about your product is not large when compared to the Apple iPad. Let’s be honest, the iPad is the best known device and it is what people will compare any newcomer to. Your device, if it delivers as promised, will destroy the iPad in a side by side test. But theoretical comparisons only go so far. You must get your product out soon. iPad will be getting into university’s and schools soon. You can’t let it get too big of a market share before you launch. I hope you are able to launch before the end of the calendar year.

  32. Hi Rohan,

    Now that Adam is ripe for release, how about announcing a discount for us bloggers who we with you, praising you, cursing you, advising you….?


  33. sunchicax,

    You’re absolutely correct. The first PQ screen will get the loyalty of millions of consumers. ADAM once thought of as an innovative product is now becoming, as you so rightly pointed out, a mythical creature.

    My daughter told me about the ADAM and was excited. I became excited as well. She and her husband saved up their money & I was gonna buy an Adam too. My daughter was completely sold on the Adam PQ/LCD screen and so was I.

    I wonder what company will actually sell such a device? They’re gonna make a fortune.

  34. Leaving it open for possible custom ROMs requires a proper warranty policy. Installing custom ROMs and fixing possible “bricked” tablets shouldn’t be covered by a regular warranty. It would be too much of a burden for Notion Ink.
    Though, it would be nice to be able to alway log into a sort of “recovery console” and revert back to a stock Adam ROM.

  35. 2.2 or 3.0?
    Ah! Right, the digits aren’t the same.
    Actually, I don’t see any difference.
    Is this a race for bigger numbers? Or is ADAM just for geeks who really do see the difference in these OS? Don’t go for the best in everything. If you want to concuer the market, do only things necessary to elate the masses. I’m already inspired, so just let me buy it, will you?

  36. And seriously:
    Android is only a third of this device.
    We can put chromium or Ubuntu on it and upgrade ourselves everything to the latest and greatest if we want!

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