Over at Android Authority, Mishaal Rahman managed to download Rabbit’s launcher APK on a Google Pixel 6A. With just a little tweaking, he was in a position to run the app as if it have been on Rabbit’s personal machine. Utilizing the volume-up key rather than the R1’s single {hardware} button, he was in a position to arrange an account and begin asking it questions, just as if he was utilizing the $199 R1.

Rahman factors out that the app most likely doesn’t supply all of the identical performance as the R1. In his phrases: “the Rabbit R1’s launcher app is intended to be preinstalled in the firmware and be granted several privileged, system-level permissions — only some of which we were able to grant — so some of the functions would likely fail if we tried.” However the undeniable fact that the software program runs on a midrange telephone from virtually two years in the past means that it has extra in widespread with a plain ‘ol Android app than not.

Rabbit founder and CEO Jesse Lyu disagrees with this characterization. He gave a lengthy statement to The Verge that we’ve partially quoted under — it was also posted to Rabbit’s X account if you wish to learn it in full.

“rabbit r1 is not an Android app… rabbit OS and LAM run on the cloud with very bespoke AOSP and lower level firmware modifications, therefore a local bootleg APK without the proper OS and Cloud endpoints won’t be able to access our service. rabbit OS is customized for r1 and we do not support third-party clients.”

The R1 isn’t alone; Humane’s AI pin appears to run on a version of Android’s open-source software program, too. But it surely’s the R1 in the scorching seat proper now as the first evaluations have began to trickle out — and they’re not great, Bob. Rabbit issued its first software program replace earlier at the moment to handle some complaints, together with a fast-draining battery. That concern appears to be higher managed post-update; my R1’s idle battery efficiency is vastly improved after downloading the replace this morning.

However the greater drawback is that the R1 just doesn’t do sufficient helpful issues to justify its existence when, you recognize, telephones exist. It seems to be like this AI gadget might have just been an app after all.

Replace April thirtieth 11:23PM ET: Added a press release from Rabbit CEO Jesse Lyu.