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Author Topic: Pre-Sales Questions  (Read 17245 times)

Tesla

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Pre-Sales Questions
« on: August 29, 2011, 04:37:11 PM »

This X-10 AirPad looks very good, but I have some pre-sales questions. Iím looking for a small 7Ē Andriod tablet with capacitive screen. I read itís planned upgradable to Android 3.0 (internally from X-10 Ö no rooting) Ö so thatís a big plus.

1.   Some way to get real GPS on it (without WiFi or 3G cell access). An approved, external, USB dongle (with a working Android app.) is fine.
2.   Does it support 3G with an external 3G USB (flash drive looking) modem (like from AT&T)?
3.   I donít see that it supports BlueTooth internally/natively. Could I attach a tiny USB BlueTooth nub?

« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 06:09:40 PM by Tesla »
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YB

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 05:55:13 PM »

these are some great questions Tesla. First, I want to point out the report of it going to 3.0 isn't entirely true. It is planned to go to the sequel which hasn't had a release number reported yet. It is called "Ice Cream Sandwich". Regardless of what the version number is, we will be making an upgrade for Ice Cream Sandwich once it becomes available. 

I am happy to report that it does have a full size usb port. We have tested a few things like keyboards and mice with it. We have not got a chance to test many other devices like the 3G USB Dongles or GPS as of yet. However, we do have a 30 day money back guarantee and would love some reports of how customers are using them and what they were using them with, if it worked, didn't work, etc. I don't see why those types of devices would not work, but it would be good to get reports in from actual users to see the real world experiences.

I know I use a Sprint Evo 4g as a Wifi Hotspot and that works fantastic.

I will get back to you on the bluetooth adapter in a few minutes.

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Michael Youngblood
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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 06:03:10 PM »

Ok, the bluetooth dongle part of the question. We are going to test using a dongle and a bluetooth headset, bluetooth device to laptop transmissions, i think we can try a keyboard, and whatever else we can find around the office that is powered by bluetooth.
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Michael Youngblood
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Tesla

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 06:31:24 PM »

these are some great questions Tesla. First, I want to point out the report of it going to 3.0 isn't entirely true. It is planned to go to the sequel which hasn't had a release number reported yet. It is called "Ice Cream Sandwich". Regardless of what the version number is, we will be making an upgrade for Ice Cream Sandwich once it becomes available. 

I am happy to report that it does have a full size usb port. We have tested a few things like keyboards and mice with it. We have not got a chance to test many other devices like the 3G USB Dongles or GPS as of yet. However, we do have a 30 day money back guarantee and would love some reports of how customers are using them and what they were using them with, if it worked, didn't work, etc. I don't see why those types of devices would not work, but it would be good to get reports in from actual users to see the real world experiences.

I know I use a Sprint Evo 4g as a Wifi Hotspot and that works fantastic.
I will get back to you on the bluetooth adapter in a few minutes.


Good to hear that Android upgrade is still in the plans (whatever it's called). It will be welcome where the current industry norm seems to be to quickly obsolete the older tablet and build a new one instead.

I've been doing some research. Correct me if I'm wrong, but do my other questions revolve around "USB OTG" capabilities and or USB HOST? Your testing with simple USB input devices is promising, but I will be very interested to hear about more advanced devices that usually require the installation of drivers.

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YB

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 06:43:33 PM »

well, kind of. Android is based on Linux, which means there there is usually generic "drivers" for most anything you can plug in already there. I have seen 3g dongles work on tablets before, I have also seen abstract devices using ports you would of never thought to use for the purpose (i.e. square's credit card reader uses the 1/8th inch headphone jack). There is never a question of could it work, the only question is does it work now :)

And to be honest, I'm looking forward to testing with the advanced devices as well.  >!
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Michael Youngblood
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Tesla

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2011, 06:53:35 PM »

these are some great questions Tesla. First, I want to point out the report of it going to 3.0 isn't entirely true. It is planned to go to the sequel which hasn't had a release number reported yet. It is called "Ice Cream Sandwich". Regardless of what the version number is, we will be making an upgrade for Ice Cream Sandwich once it becomes available.  


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)

So, it's currently shipping with Android v2.3 (Gingerbread). You are planning to skip v3.x (Honeycomb) completely... and go right to v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) ?

If so, that's big news  8)
 
Will there be an official v3.x (Honeycomb) release from you at all (in case we need to backup a bit) or will it be deemed un-necessary?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 07:05:28 PM by Tesla »
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YB

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2011, 07:11:27 PM »

We are skipping Honeycomb all together. We have found that tablets running it, are a lot slower in comparison to 2.3. Ice Cream Sandwich is the next version of Android, and is set to be released by Google in December (this date changes sometimes). Once Google releases it, we can, and will, take it and build the update for the AirPad.

Geek TidBit: With the Android version numbers, I have found it to be a useful habit to not use them until they are officially released from Google. Honeycomb was supposed to be 2.4 and at the last minute, they changed it to 3.0 and tablets only. Rumor has it, that Ice Cream Sandwich is going to be 2.4, 3.1, and 4.0. The only official convention, is that it is named Ice Cream Sandwich.
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Michael Youngblood
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Tesla

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2011, 08:35:22 PM »

There is never a question of could it work, the only question is does it work now :)

And to be honest, I'm looking forward to testing with the advanced devices as well.  >!

I like that attitude.

Well, I don't want you to have all the fun ... so my AirPad is officially on order  :)

Maybe we could start a list (or thread) of verified working add-on devices. We can probably skip the HID devices, but the others might be helpful to know (BT, GPS, cell modems, etc.). Maybe include a link to the actual item, Android OS version used, App used., and setup notes ... something like that.
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Tesla

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2011, 09:14:24 PM »

We have found that tablets running it, are a lot slower in comparison to 2.3.

... and that would be the only reason I might want to (give up the new features) and revert back to an older version. It seems you are saying v4.0 is as fast as v2.3 (or only marginally slower and worth any speed hit for the new features). That would be great.

So, if we are willing to Master Reset the device (and reload all apps, redo all setup config, etc.) ... will we have the ability to jump between Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich?
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X10 Dev

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 12:17:11 AM »

So, if we are willing to Master Reset the device (and reload all apps, redo all setup config, etc.) ... will we have the ability to jump between Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich?

We will publish Android ROM images for the Airpad, so yes, you will be able to jump back and forth. 

Furthermore, if you have the inclination, you will be able to customize your ROM.  Yes, the usual rules apply, customizing your ROM will void your warranty, so if you are not a expert skier, do not ski down this hill.

We will also add drivers for USB devices as we (or other users) find them.  The Airpad includes a USB OTG port, and a regular full size USB host port.

Note, the airpad does work with 3G dongles, but we haven't yet found a US carrier who is willing to support Android tablets.  Hopefully this will change.  In the meantime, every US carrier (and this is their answer to the dongle issue) now carries mobile hotspots.  This is a cell phone-sized device that provides a WiFi hotspot that you control that is hooked up to 3G or 4G.

Another option is to use the hotspot feature provided by your cell phone.  Not all cell phones support this, but for the ones that do, this is a low cost way to add 3G to your tablet without having to buy a whole new mobile contract.
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dhouston

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 06:18:58 AM »

Note, the airpad does work with 3G dongles, but we haven't yet found a US carrier who is willing to support Android tablets. 
Are there any technical reasons why Skype or MagicJack will not work on a tablet?
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YB

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 06:51:42 PM »

We have used Skype here around the office so we know that works.

We havn't used magic jack, however i found this: http://www.xda-developers.com/android/make-calls-using-magicjack-on-your-android-phone/

if you do get it to work, i would love to hear about it. :)
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Michael Youngblood
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dhouston

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 07:17:15 PM »

I saw several links (including the one on MagicJack you referenced) that said both could be made to work on Android phones but I did not think the Airpad qualified as an Android phone.

But, if Skype will work with a WiFi connection, that makes it very attractive. However, my toy budget has been depleted by a recent hospitalization and the bills it generated so I'll have to wait awhile.

I'm assuming Java will allow one to access/control serial<->USB adapters on the USB Host port (the Linux kernel has built-in support). If so, doing an IR (or X-10 RF) remote control app is trivial.
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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 08:12:51 PM »

yea, thats one of the things that I was thinking would hold the magic jack from working. I did just test out a bluetooth dongle and was unsuccessful in getting it to work. We are going to work on a fix for that.
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Michael Youngblood
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dhouston

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Re: Pre-Sales Questions
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2011, 10:06:37 PM »

I think the MagicJack dongle is only necessary to connect the PC to the phone hardware (in my case a wireless Panasonic system with multiple extensions). I would think it probable that there could be a software only version for a tablet that has mic/speaker built-in with all other needed links via WiFi. But, their market is probably big enough without needing to include non-phone tablets.
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