Kmart’s Augen tablet using pirated Android

android-tablet-kmart
android-tablet-kmart

Brace yourselves – the $150 Android tablet, the Augen GenTouch78, is being sold through Kmart with a pirated version of the Android OS powering the budget tablet device. While Android is distributed freely, licenses are needed to use certain proprietary Google applications, and it seems Augen just didn’t want to spring for those licenses.

In order to get the licenses for Google applications (like Google Maps and the Android Market), one must be part of the Open Handset Alliance. Augen is not, which is why you’ll find some quirks in the software. The Android Market is present in the tablet, but still will not allow you to download applications. Instead, you can just browse applications until your eyes bleed. Damn, I mean this thing may be a bargain, but it has a resistive touch screen, which is bad enough, but to add icing to the cake, the Android Market is installed only to view applications. Lame.

LaptopMag reached out to Google to see if they allowed Augen to use their application in their tablet, and a spokesperson responded,

Augen included proprietary Google software in their product via an unauthorized vendor. Google only licenses its software to partners and OHA [Open Handset Alliance] members directly

While the Augen tablet is one cheap piece of Shkit, you won’t be able to install applications from the Market, and you’ll be limited by the resistive (pressure sensitive) touchscreen. But I’m wondering if there was a way to do some magic and enable ADB push and pull, which will allow you to install applications from the command line. If one were to succeed in this, it wouldn’t be so bad owning the GenTouch78. We’re not saying it would be that good, but it just wouldn’t be that bad. It just goes to show that there really aren’t any desirable Android tablets around yet, and I hardly think the Streak will fit the bill. It’s looking to be a nice device, but a 5 inch screen is too small for a tablet, yet too big for a phone. The Streak is a mutant, but at least it’s the real deal as far as Android OS is concerned.

If you’re looking for a real tablet just wait for the Adam, as it’s sure to be a killer.

[Via: LaptopMag]

  • Mike

    You can install apps via ADB command line. You also can copy them to the SD Card via the UPS cable. Augen has released a couple of updates and patches. The device is running much better now. They also added a 3rd party Market app. It's ok, better then nothing. Augen is working on another update that may fix the market among other things.

    Perhaps they are working with Google to licenses the Market since Augen was forced to release the tablet a couple of months early due to Kmart putting the tablet in their July Weeky Ads.

  • jjroid

    Wow…that really sucks! I can deal with the resistive touch screen for $150…but a bootleg copy of android? I think not.

  • thatguythatdid

    It's laughable about the market thing I already returned mine makes you wonder about those other cheap tablets out there? The market does work though if you apply a couple easy mods and with a custom recovery out this thing is definitly gonna be alot better than augen can make it

  • @ericleone
  • stu

    I've had my own issues with Augen support. After reading the now infamous note by whatever company officer about having a fix for the Android Market problem "in 48 hours", I went to the support site to download the patch. Of course we all know there's next to nothing out there and absolutely nothing for the Android Market problem. I opened a ticket with them and got the following email:
    ——————————————————————–
    Please check this Newsletter that was posted on our site: News
    GENTOUCH78 & Google Mobile Services Application Suite . Press Release
    Mark at Augen Customer Support

    Ticket Details
    ===================
    Ticket ID: 4970
    Department: Customer Support
    Priority: High
    Status: Closed
    ——————————————————————–

    Of course the link the idiot sent me was one I had already seen. And there is nothing there to help me with my original question, where do I download the Android Market fix. So, I send a follow-up to Mark asking him where the patch is and got the following:

    ——————————————————————–
    It's because your not looking. Would you like me to spoonfeed you SIR?

    here is the link: http://augenus.com/7800atpsoftware.zip
    here is the instruction: http://augenus.com/androidcalibrationinstructions

    you'll need it badly
    Mark at Augen Customer Support

    Ticket Details
    ===================
    Ticket ID: 4970
    Department: Customer Support
    Priority: High
    Status: Closed
    ——————————————————————–

    Insulting your customer is generally not a good idea. The best part about all this is these messages are from 8/10, and the idiot knows there is no solution to the problem but decided to basically lie to me and give me a run around instead of facing the facts. After doing some more research on this I find the patch for the problem doesn't exist, which brings up the question what was the idiot going to "spoon feed" me?

    My theory on Augen is it's a bunch morons who are buying cheap, cloned hardware in China and importing it (everyone remember Apex?) They have no idea of how to run a company or support a product. The support site has no structure to it, but this may be because they will have no idea of how to actually fix any of the problems until the can get a H2B visa and interpreter for a guy in China and relocate him instead of letting Mark put the thing together.

  • matt

    OMG, am I the only person who finds this pretty F’d up? I mean, Google won’t allow Augen to use it’s proprietary software because Augen didn’t pay to be a part of a FREE & OPEN ALLIANCE!? It’s almost like the U.S going to war with a country that refused to be a part of a free market economy . . . . and we all know how much of a bad idea that turned out to be. This is BS, why is everyone faulting Augen for this and not Google. Don’t get me wrong, I love Google and all it’s app-licious glory. However, I wouldn’t think that they’d stoop so far as to deny a consumer who wants a cheaply priced piece of hardware to access it’s free and (sometimes) open source apps.

    • matt

      I just realized that my last post made it look like I was pro-Augen. I am not by any means, judging by the reviews (although my dad does love it, but he’s a poor recovering alcoholic with no job and gets paid disability. All he wants to do is surf the net, which he can do just fine with Augen). This does indeed look like a crappy device which was poorly executed, but why is it their fault that Google booted it from the marketplace? What’s next, will all of Linux openly refuse to run on Augen, too (even if it somehow got the hardware to support a GUI version like Fedora)!? That’s just dumb.

      • Qyryqw

        the reason it wasnt licensed was probably because it wasnt up to googles standards of an android device. remember that googles apps are proprietary. its android thats free and open

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