Augen: Including Android Market on GenTouch78 Tablet an “Unintentional” Mistake

Yesterday, we reported that, according to Google, Augen’s use of the Android Market app on its $149 GenTouch78 tablet was unauthorized. Since then, a number of our colleagues in the tablet-o-sphere have picked up on the story and wondered aloud how a device sitting on the shelves of one of Amerca’s largest retailers could have unauthorized software preloaded. Just this afternoon, Augen posted a reply to our story, which states that the vendor’s installation of unauthorized software was all a mistake.

Update – 8/9/2010: Changed post to include pictures of the packaging that advertise the Android Market.

In his statement, Augen CEO Gary Gofman wrote that “the Google Mobile Service and Android Apps were pre installed during the development process on our tablets for testing purposes, and were not removed unintentionally before releasing the products in the market place. Google and Augen came to a mutual understanding that the Google Mobile Services Application Suite pre-installed on the GENTOUCH/ GENBOOK Series; could not be removed due to technological constraints for the products that were sold, shipped, or already produced. For future production runs and deliveries, Augen will block and remove the Google Mobile Services Application Suite from the current devices until further notice.”

However, if this is a legitimate mistake, it extends beyond the software and to the product packaging. As you can see in the photos below, the box for the GenTouch78 mentions the Android Market, not once but twice. On one side it says “Google Android 2.1 Operating System provides a stable Netbook computing platform and makes it easy to check email, share photos, surf the Internet, and download hundreds of apps from the Android Market.” On the other side it has two bullet points, the first of which says “Download Hundreds of Apps from Android Market.”

On other hand, we haven’t seen anywhere on their site or in the product’s packaging or documentation that claims the device is supposed to come with the actual Android Market. The GenTouch78 page on the Augenus.com says that you can “Download Thousands of Apps From the App Store,” but there are app stores other than the official Android Market from Google. In fact, the text says “With Apps Store, over 2,000 apps are seconds away with just the click of a button. After all apps make the world go round.” The official Android Market has over 70,000 apps now.

The complete, unedited statement from Augen is below:

Florida- August 07, 2010 – Augen Electronics Corp., an innovator of tablet pc’s, netbooks, and eReaders, would like to deliver the following statement to address the circulating media gossip regarding Augen’s preloaded apps.

On July, 29 2010 Augen had a constructive conversation with Google Inc. The topic of the discussion was Google’s Application Suite. As you know, Google Inc. has released the source code for the entire Android platform under the flexible and commercial-friendly Apache 2.0 open source license. Augen is free to use that open source code; however, the suite of applications comprising Google Mobile Services on Android are proprietary to Google and have not been released under open source licenses. The Google Mobile Service and Android Apps were pre installed during the development process on our tablets for testing purposes, and were not removed unintentionally before releasing the products in the market place.

Google and Augen came to a mutual understanding that the Google Mobile Services Application Suite pre-installed on the GENTOUCH/ GENBOOK Series; could not be removed due to technological constraints for the products that were sold, shipped, or already produced.

For future production runs and deliveries, Augen will block and remove the Google Mobile Services Application Suite from the current devices until further notice. We are currently in communication with Google Inc. to obtain the required licensing for upcoming products, and will announce in our future statements the timelines and availability of these products as it will become available to us. However, for your convenience Augen will add applications to accommodate the absence of the Google Mobile Services Application Suite.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU…

The future of Augen holds a key to develop market conscious products with a vision of delivering the latest and emerging technologies, being available and affordable to every household, big/small corporation in the United States of America and worldwide.

We are at the final stages of releasing an entire new line of products which incorporates the newest technology and concepts, that will make a difference in your every day lives. We encourage you our Gen Nation, to follow the exciting products that Augen will be unveiling in the very near future. We are here to put the world at your fingertips and take you beyond the realm of the market that exists today, bringing you with us into a new era of open world communication and computing.

We are a US based company and understand and incorporate your wishes, desires, and requirements in our company’s DNA. We are here for you and are looking for your continued support, and excitement in our current and future releases.

Gary Gofman
CEO
Augen Electronics Corp.


AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Charbax Says:

    You need to write no matter if Google Marketplace is not preinstalled, users will very likely be able to find a compatible googlemarketplace.apk file install quite simply through double clicking on it through the file browser. No matter what, getting Google Marketplace on it takes 1 minute of work for a user who wants it.

    Another thing you shouldbwrite, Google is evil by not allowing Google Marketplace on cheaper Android devices. “Controlling user experience” is a totally lame excuse, see for yourself, 99% of the apps from the Google Marketplace work perfectly fine on this. If Google conitues to decide Google Marketplace may only come preinstalled on $500 smart pyones, then they are deciedly evil. We need to complain about that!

    Google can easilly filter out the dozen or so apps that absolutely require a camera, or a gps or 3g to work correctly. Apps that require more powerful OpenGL acceleration can also be kept filtered out.

  2. Geewhipped Says:

    Hmm… mine very clearly says on the box:
    Download Hundreds of Apps from Android Market

    not from “app store” … from “Android Market” … I can send you a pic of my box if you want.
    I think this semi-functional turd might need to go back to the store.

  3. alex78 Says:

    Ahem.. I just got mine the other day and I have all that preloaded on the box. As for the cardboard one, it also clearly states ‘download apps…’ on the side. Who cares, it’s a great bang for the buck, it is essentially uClinux turned on its side, that’s all Android really is. So hopefully Google doesn’t bang a good little company that deserves recognition for its product (despite the resistive touch, even that isn’t bad at all) and should get high marks for building a quality product on a small budget. Google should be giving out candy bars to them, not doinking them for something that is open source anyway. The idea is to get guys like us developing apps on a STABLE and OPEN platform, not a Crapple knock-off.

  4. Ricky Price, Col USAF Says:

    In defense of Augen and the packaging of the GenTouch78, I just recently purchased one and it now reads on the packaging I quote “surf the Internet and download hundreds of Apps from the App Store.” So they have corrected their packaging as well as their programing. You can not down anything from the “Android Market”. Instead of putting a product down that is actually working to make everything right, why not help those of us that are looking for good apps that we can use with our Android Tablets and Phones.

    Ricky Price, Col USAF (Ret)

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