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.