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Down the Rabbit R1 Hole: Fresh Concerns Arise After Allegations of Android App Origin

Rabbit's CEO Responds to Claims Following Android Authority Report

NEWS  AI  May 2, 2024  Reading time: 3 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)

In recent days, the Rabbit R1, a pocket-sized AI gadget released by Teenage Engineering in January, has come under scrutiny following claims that its software is actually an Android app. This allegation emerged after a video surfaced showing the Rabbit R1's interface running on a Google Pixel 6a. Despite the product's $199 price tag and its hardware-focused marketing, these claims have led to questions about the device's unique software and its reliance on custom hardware.


Mishaal Rahman from Android Authority investigated these allegations, leading to a report suggesting that the Rabbit R1 is indeed an Android app. The video shared by Rahman depicts a user interacting with the Rabbit R1 software on a Google Pixel 6a, with voice commands triggering AI responses. Although Rahman indicated that a tipster shared the Rabbit R1's launcher APK, the exact source and authenticity of the file remain unclear. Additionally, he noted that some modifications were necessary to get the app running on the Pixel, and certain features, such as Spotify integration and the Vision tool, were not tested in this context.


In response to these claims, Rabbit's CEO Jesse Lyu released a statement defending the R1's unique hardware design. He asserted that the Rabbit R1 is not merely an Android app but relies on bespoke hardware modifications to run properly. Lyu emphasized that these modifications include customized Android Open Source Project (AOSP) elements and lower-level firmware, which are not replicated in unofficial versions. He cautioned users against using bootlegged APKs or web clients, citing security risks and the possibility of data theft.

To further clarify Rabbit's position, the company posted on X stating: 

"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 bootlegged 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. Using a bootlegged APK or webclient carries significant risks; malicious actors are known to publish bootlegged apps that steal your data. For this reason, we recommend that users avoid these bootlegged Rabbit OS apps."

Despite the controversy, the Rabbit R1 continues to be marketed as a unique AI gadget with specific hardware features, including a 2.88-inch touchscreen, a navigation scroll wheel, and an 8MP camera. The company aims to differentiate its product through this hardware-focused approach, despite the recent scrutiny over its software.


Whether the Rabbit R1 will recover from these allegations and retain its unique market position remains to be seen. This case underscores the complex relationship between proprietary hardware and software in modern technology products and the risks associated with unauthorized software distribution.



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