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15 | Aug 19 2014 | First Post-Campaign Update - Backers, Check Your Email!
#1
Hello Everyone!

We have a lot to go over, we’ll try to be brief on each topic.

First - Check Your Email!

If your payment was declined, first try to fix it with Amazon Payments. Be sure to check your inbox for a payment-declined email... especially if you didn't get a celebratory confirmation email from Kickstarter.

If you can't get Amazon Payments to work, reach out to us. Send us a private message via Kickstarter, please don't use the comments box here. We have implemented a backup solution for those of you that had payments rejected - and can't make Amazon work. Please note we will only be working with people that backed us and payments failed.

Missed the Kickstarter? Head on over to ConsoleOS.com - scroll to the bottom of the home page and sign up there for email updates. When we expand availability for Console OS, you'll be the first to know - but only if you sign up there to stay updated!

Hardware Voting

We want to give everyone a chance to participate in Hardware Voting. Kickstarter waits up to two weeks to let people fix issues with Amazon Payments. Considering this impacts more than a few people, we’re going to wait for the full two-week window to close. That means we’re bumping Hardware Voting back by a little over a week.

Hardware Voting is going to grow a bit as a result. We’ll have a few extra questions to gauge your opinions about where we should head after our first developer release. For example, Android “L” is coming. Implementing certain features now may mean it will take longer for us to move over to Android L when it becomes available. On the flip side, we don’t know when Android L will ship just yet - and it may be awhile. We want you to help guide us on where we’re headed, so we’re going to just ask you as a part of Hardware Voting.

As with anything related to Android L, keep in mind that it was announced after our Kickstarter began. One of the pain points in engineering atop Android (for us, and everyone else in the ecosystem), is we can't see what Google's got around the corner. Pushing the limits of Android is never easy, and Android L is a major rewrite of the core components like ART, the Android Runtime.

We're going to get you up and running with early access to Console OS, based on KitKat, regardless of what decisions we make on our development roadmap... and again, we're going to listen to what you want, and with technical partners each step along the way.

Status Report

We’ve been hard at work, meeting with technical partners now that we’re funded. As you can imagine, some didn’t think we’d get to this point, so certain conversations were delayed until we “pulled it off” with a successful Kickstarter.

There are some mis-conceptions we’d like to take a moment and clarify. It can take up to four weeks for funds to hit our bank accounts. That means we’re working right now with the same resources we had before the Kickstarter (less actually, when you factor in the costs of campaigning).

While we have made clear all-along that we had to be funded to emerge and build Console OS, some are sending along requests for us to ship now. We wish it were that easy to innovate! Unfortunately, we aren’t on an episode of I Dream of Jeannie. We have a lot of hard work ahead, and that will mean we won’t have all the availability that we typically have had to answer questions one-by-one instantly.

The good news is, we expect to begin shipping Developer Release 1 (DR1), next month, as planned. We expect to at least make it available for a majority of systems initially, with systems that don’t make the initial cut getting DR1 as we go bug hunting. We’ll then be taking in your feedback, partner feedback, and deciding when we’re going to switch over to Android “L” code and how exactly that will impact our work.

Many have asked about Surface Pro. The bad news is, we didn’t hit our stretch goal. So, Surface Pro will remain a hobby for us. It’s a hobby we really want to support, but builds for Surface Pro will be unsupported.

You will have to, at the least, use a Wi-Fi dongle to get it up and running. We strongly suggest the ASUS WL-330NUL - it’s our favorite, and one of the most versatile Wi-Fi devices we’ve ever owned. It does much more than just USB-to-Wi-Fi functionality, and even if you don't plan on using an unsupported device, we encourage you to check it out.

We expect unsupported Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 builds to ship some time in October. As to Surface Pro 3, we don’t expect to begin issuing builds for it until after we switch to Android L as a code base, and it may be awhile after that too.

As to system builders, we’ll begin issuing some guidance in October. Initially Intel GPUs will be supported, and we’ll be taking your Hardware Voting feedback to the relevant partners and start working with them to bring their existing Linux drivers to Android. This is going to be a process measured in months, and many months… not weeks. For people with discreet GPUs, that doesn’t mean you’ll be frozen out. For example, many systems offer an Intel GPU bypass - especially on laptops. For others, you may have to move your monitor cable over to the Intel GPU port when booting Console OS - but it’ll work on a broad range of custom built systems out of the gates.

We hope that’s a comprehensive update that lets you know where we stand. As we mentioned on the comments page, our ability to issue answers to each and every question is going to be measured right now. We’re really busy, and we know you want Console OS right away. We’re also setting up our own forums and our own systems to vend Console OS right now. So, stay tuned and rest assured - Console OS is all we’re doing right now… and we are already working on new news to run alongside our launch of Console OS DR1.


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