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Old 01-13-2011, 10:18 AM   #1
borisb
Edge User
 
enTourage stalled?

It struck me this morning that nothing has "happened" regarding enTourage for a while now.

No new products, or even intentions of new products, were announced at CES 2011 - the show that sets the stage for electronics companies for the year ahead (the enTourage booth looked decidely empty and I didn't see a single article from the major blog sites even mentioning enTourage's offerings at CES). The 3G model seems to have dropped off the radar altogether (it was originally promised for last summer, and then there were Verizon rumours for November which failed to pan out).

There have been no significant press releases (or even blog postings) since early November (with the release of the PE). The Forum Blogs section itself hasn't had a new blog since early June 2010.

There has been no indication of progress on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) update (2.1 - Eclair - was originally promised for last summer, then replaced with a promise of 2.2 instead for last Fall which is currently delayed with no indication of a delivery date). This in light of the fact 2.2 has been round since last summer, 2.3 (Gingerbread) was made available in December, 3.0 (Honeycomb) is currently in the works with most manufacturers (promised for a Spring release), and yesterday I saw that 2.4 ("Ice Cream"/"Ice Cream Sandwich") being slated for a summer release by Google. For perspective, the eDGes are currently running Android 1.6. Worriesome is robot's recent observations that the hardware itself makes 2.2 a real stretch (for the EE) and probably makes any higher releases miraculous at best.

Putting Android updates aside, the number one feature request of all time - landscape eink - remains unanswered since the EE was originally released almost a year ago. I was disappointed to see that even annotation seems to have taken several steps backwards in recent months. You currently can only see annotations if you're in annotation mode, and similarly, to export with annotations, you have to be in annotation mode first. A lot of extra (and painfully slow) taps on the eInk are required for this (true, annotations are beleaguered by problems with zoom, which is probably a fault of Adobe, not enTourage).

Similarly, after some 6 months, the "App Store" has a mere 70 apps (I think it lost an app since yesterday) and is not showing much progress either. It's even ironic that while we all lament that Google refuses to open up the Android Market to all Android devices, the enTourage store only allows you to download apps to the eDGe, even though they work on any Android device.

In the "Development" forum, I've watched developer after developer being stymied in their attempts to even develop straight Android apps that might then show up in the App Store. The long promised SDK (required to make use of the eInk screen) is a distant memory at best. App development doesn't seem to be encouraged at all, with no resources offered to aspiring programmers.

Lastly, the activity on these forums has dropped dramatically over the past month it seems, with just a few posts per day. The crickets are multiplying...

So, I'm left wondering if enTourage has stalled or run out of steam. "To sleep, perchance to dream" or has enTourage's day come and gone? Time to wake up...

Last edited by borisb; 01-13-2011 at 06:07 PM.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 11:11 AM   #2
fgruber
Edge User
 
Hey Boris what's with Chubulur's signature?

Anyway, I agree that it has been rather quite around here. And I'm also quite dissapointed regarding the lack of update with Froyo and the SDK (and landscape, annotation, etc). Why can't they just release whatever information they have about using the eink and let the programmers figure out how to use it!

Let's hope we hear something from Entourage about this




Quote:
Originally Posted by borisb View Post
It struck me this morning that nothing has "happened" regarding enTourage for a while now.

No new products, or even intentions of new products, were announced at CES 2011 - the show that sets the stage for electronics companies for the year ahead (the enTourage booth looked decidely empty and I didn't see a single article from the major blog sites even mentioning enTourage's offerings at CES). The 3G model seems to have dropped off the radar altogether (it was originally promised for last summer, and then there were Verizon rumours for November which failed to pan out).

There have been no significant press releases (or even blog postings) since early November (with the release of the PE). The Forum Blogs section itself hasn't had a new blog since early June 2010.

There has been no indication of progress on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) update (2.1 - Eclair - was originally promised for last summer, then replaced with a promise of 2.2 instead for last Fall which is currently delayed with no indication of a delivery date). This in light of the fact 2.2 has been round since last summer, 2.3 (Gingerbread) was made available in December, 3.0 (Honeycomb) is currently in the works with most manufacturers (promised for a Spring release), and yesterday I saw that 2.4 ("Ice Cream"/"Ice Cream Sandwich") being slated for a summer release by Google. Worriesome is robot's recent observations that the hardware itself makes 2.2 a real stretch (for the EE) and probably makes any higher releases miraculous at best.

Similarly, after some 6 months, the "App Store" has a mere 70 apps (I think it lost an app since yesterday) is not showing much progress either. It's even ironic that while we all lament that Google refuses to open up the Android Market to all Android devices, the enTourage store only allows you to download apps to the eDGe, even though they work on any Android device.

In the "Development" forum, I've watched developer after developer being stymied in their attempts to even develop straight Android apps that might then show up in the App Store. The long promised SDK (required to make use of the eInk screen) is a distant memory at best. App development doesn't seem to be encouraged at all, with no resources offered to aspiring programmers.

Lastly, the activity on these forums has dropped dramatically over the past month it seems, with just a few posts per day. The crickets are multiplying...

So, I'm left wondering if enTourage has stalled or run out of steam. "To sleep, perchance to dream" or has enTourage's day come and gone? Time to wake up...

Pero cuidado...
 
Old 01-13-2011, 11:14 AM   #3
sarah11918
Edge User
 
I wonder how much the Pocket Edge, and needing to satisfy a whole lot of new users at the same time, has to do with this. We know they were hit with a lot of customer service and tech support requests a couple of months ago. Maybe they're playing some catch-up and focusing on maintenance rather than development? Although not at CES, I've actually been seeing some positive buzz around the pocket edge and some reviews that seemed a lot more favourable than the original edge's were.

I'm asking myself what kind of announcements I would have taken as good news. If I had heard about new hardware, I probably would have been disappointed that my machine was probably going to be left behind. More important to me would be some of the greatly-needed-but-maybe-not-sexy-news features we've long been asking for like rotating the e-ink screen, handwriting recognition etc. If that's in fact the direction that development has taken, would that stuff be considered news/buzz-worthy?

It would be interesting to hear what Entourage is up to, what the current top priorities and activities are and what they predict for the following year. We are firmly in the age of the tablet, and it won't take much to get left behind on that end. I'd love to see more done with the e-ink screen as a real differentiator. (And selfishly, of course, I'd like that in the form of software, not hardware, upgrades. Please and thank you.)
 
Old 01-13-2011, 12:40 PM   #4
cheyennedonna
Edge User
 
There are several other promised yet never materialized features as well. I check the forum daily for announcements looking for:
The ability to input text in eink with the keyboard - advertised as a feature in the beginning and removed.
The ability to use voice search and voice input. Speech recognition was a feature supposedly to be added in quarter 4.
Camera integration with apps like Evernote, NoteEverything etc.
Even the promised screen protectors have never materialized.
I am becoming impatient and hoping I did not invest my cash in a novelty. I will hesitate before buying a new model if none of the features ever come about.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 01:45 PM   #5
VenturingSoul
Edge User
 
I came to the unfortunate realization several months ago that my $500 investment had bought me only a bitter lesson, not a device that would deliver as promised. To be truthful, I would have been more shocked by any announcements at CES of progress on the part of Entourage than I was by no announcements of such progress.
I feel that my purchase of the eDGe was the worst hardware purchasing decision that I have ever made, going clear back to 1991. Sad to have to put it in print, but that is the way it is.

Maybe, at some distant point in the future, the eDGe will be worth something as an artifact...something that collectors would be interested in. Hey, I can always dream....

There has, however, been one noteworthy development of late....one that I never thought I would see. Even the ever-positive, ever-supportive Boris has finally acknowledged that something is not "quite right". Now that is impressive!
:-)
 
Old 01-13-2011, 02:06 PM   #6
Chubulor
Edge User
 
Signature and avatar indicate that boris has joined me on the Dark Side! Together we will rule the forum as father and son...though we do have to work out which one of us is which.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
dontpanic
Edge User
 
Wow. Happy New Year. We should have an announcement on Froyo soon. I think we are weeks and not months away, barring any show stopper bugs. We have not stopped working, but this one is a big one and we are trying to get it right. I realize that we have made some commitments that we have not met. Landscape on the Reader screen is one. I am hoping that we can give you some relief on that feature request soon.

We do try to be reasonably open and apologize if the perception is that we have fallen significantly behind on feature requests that are dear to you. I assure you that in the mean time we have satisfied many other feature requests.

TC
 
Old 01-13-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
Chubulor
Edge User
 
I think there would be less of a problem with the upgrade delays if you guys would give us an idea of what stage of accomplishing the upgrade you're in, rather than giving rough time estimates, which have turned out to be mistaken in the past. ie, whether you have Flash 10 working yet, etc. Obviously there will still be some discontents regardless of what you do, but that might help minimize the resentment.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
borisb
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubulor View Post
Signature and avatar indicate that boris has joined me on the Dark Side! Together we will rule the forum as father and son...though we do have to work out which one of us is which.
Clearly you are the father.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dontpanic View Post
We should have an announcement on Froyo soon. I think we are weeks and not months away, barring any show stopper bugs. We have not stopped working, but this one is a big one and we are trying to get it right. I realize that we have made some commitments that we have not met. Landscape on the Reader screen is one. I am hoping that we can give you some relief on that feature request soon.

We do try to be reasonably open and apologize if the perception is that we have fallen significantly behind on feature requests that are dear to you. I assure you that in the mean time we have satisfied many other feature requests.
"soon" does seem to be the ever present keyword Dates, less so.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 02:48 PM   #10
NiaTrue
Edge User
 
Back in 2000 (roughly), I purchased an iRiver device. The tiny MP3 player, one of the first, was the size of two double A batteries and featured an FM radio and digital voice recording. Within a year or two, several other MP3 players hit the market, including other iRiver models, and though my iRiver lacked the bells and whistles of those later devices, I still prized it for the basic functionality that it provided. I'd bought it as a way to listen to my favorite songs while I walked through tthe city or ran errands. And it was perfect for that. I stil have it--and it still works!

I think of my eDGe the same way. I still value my eDGe for its basic function: annotating PDFs, reading ebooks, surfing the web and watching basic videos.

The difference between those two stories is that iRiver was a harbinger of the brand new digital/mobile world that was just opening up. That's just not the case with the new world of tablets. There are so many planned for release that I can no longer keep up with all of them. I hope enTourage doesn't lose steam (read: a chance at market share) the way iRiver did.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 04:32 PM   #11
borisb
Edge User
 
I had an iRiver MP3 player, too. One with an internal hard drive. Absolutely loved it and even bought a second one when I lost the first one one winter. Unfortunately the battery wasn't replaceable and by that time iRiver had dropped the hard drive line, forcing me, ugh!, to get an iPod Classic instead as the only alternative with enough capacity for my music collection. I love my PE, too, and would buy another one if I ever lost this one.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 04:47 PM   #12
NiaTrue
Edge User
 
Okay, Boris, what is going on?!? Either you and Chubulor have multiple personalities or you've both somehow managed to do something most people can't do (convincingly): switch their "writing voice." You guys have switched up your syntax, style, slang. Chubulor has even added HUMOR to his repertoire. How crazy is that? :-Q

What gives, dare I ask?

Last edited by NiaTrue; 01-13-2011 at 04:48 PM. Reason: typo
 
Old 01-13-2011, 05:27 PM   #13
borisb
Edge User
 
A Vulcan mind meld gone horribly wrong perhaps? Wait - that's humour (not to mention something of a mixing of imaginary universes) - that would be Chubulor that says that now...
 
Old 01-13-2011, 07:35 PM   #14
alefor
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubulor View Post
I think there would be less of a problem with the upgrade delays if you guys would give us an idea of what stage of accomplishing the upgrade you're in, rather than giving rough time estimates, which have turned out to be mistaken in the past. ie, whether you have Flash 10 working yet, etc. Obviously there will still be some discontents regardless of what you do, but that might help minimize the resentment.

Ah yes..... once again we see that the greatest source of misery in the world is unmet expectations (my outlook anyway). Managing expectations is essential and this is perhaps best done by providing information. As users anxiously awaiting upgrades (landscape eInk, Froyo, etc) we just want information. And there has been so little. The above posting by dontpanic is the first morsel we have had in awhile, and that wonderful word "soon" which provides little comfort.
 
Old 01-13-2011, 09:41 PM   #15
Gunnerp245
Edge User
 
Looking for 'action'; not expections and false promises.
 
 

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