The Rabbit R1 is based on Android after all [U]

AI hardware has the potential to be super interesting, but it’s off to a pretty rough start. The new Rabbit R1 looked fun ahead of its launch, but most early users have asked why it’s not just an Android or iOS app. As it turns out, there’s a smartphone app that does all of the same things.

The Rabbit R1 was announced earlier this year as a little gadget that could help you answer questions on the go using AI. One of its big selling points was the use of Large Action Models which could be trained to handle actions in various apps and services, effectively letting the AI do the work going forward once you’ve shown it how. It’s a neat concept, and the $200 price tag of the device was pretty intriguing.

But, as initial reviews have all agreed, it’s a pretty rough product as it stands. The battery is abysmal, the touchscreen is pointlessly limited, and the software is inconsistent.

The question that’s been asked more than anything else is why this experience isn’t just a phone app. The Rabbit R1 itself is effectively just a touchscreen and a camera that sits in your pocket, just like your phone does. So why not just run it on the phone?

Update: In a statement to 9to5Google, Rabbit says that the device is, in fact, based on a “bespoke” AOSP build (in other words, highly customized).

rabbit r1 is not an Android app. We are aware there are some unofficial rabbit OS app/website emulators out there. We understand the passion that people have to get a taste of our AI and LAM instead of waiting for their r1 to arrive. That being said, to clear any misunderstanding and set the record straight, 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. After today’s OTA, we implemented multiple cloud verification improvements to validate the device/client requests. We reserve all rights for any malicious and illegal cyber security activities towards our services.

Our original coverage has been edited to reflect this.

Android Authority received an APK for the “R1 Launcher,” an Android app that contains the entire Rabbit R1 experience and can be run on an Android phone. When installed (apparently after some tinkering), the app recognized the phone’s T-Mobile SIM card and was able to use the phone’s volume button in place of the R1’s side button. The app allowed setup of the “rabbithole” account as well as being able to use the settings menu and the AI voice assistant.

The Rabbit R1 is based on Android after all [U]
The Rabbit R1 is based on Android after all [U]
The Rabbit R1 is based on Android after all [U]

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