Rabbit R1, a thing that should just be an app, actually is just an Android app

Rabbit R1, a thing that should just be an app, actually is just an Android app

Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority


  • The Rabbit R1 is an AI-powered, handheld gadget that appears to run Android beneath the hood.
  • Many reviewers have criticized the utility of AI devices just like the Rabbit R1, noting that they do little to supplant the smartphone and may simply be an app as an alternative.
  • In reality, the R1’s complete UI appears to be dealt with by a single Android app.

When startups like Humane and Rabbit first unveiled their AI-powered devices a few months in the past, early backers have been hopeful that these AI companions would usher in a brand new period of wearable AI. Sadly for them, each merchandise launched half-baked, leaving tech reviewers with no alternative however to harshly criticize them.

The Rabbit R1, for instance, does nearly nothing that your Android cellphone can’t do. In our hands-on, we famous that the gadget enables you to do issues like discuss to a big language mannequin (LLM) to get solutions to questions, take a photograph of an object to get data about it, play music from Spotify, hail a trip from Uber, or order meals from Doordash, however that’s mainly it. If the whole lot an AI gadget just like the Rabbit R1 can do could be replicated by an Android app, then why aren’t these firms merely releasing an app as an alternative of {hardware} that prices a whole bunch of {dollars}, requires a separate cell information plan to be helpful, and has horrible battery life? It seems that’s precisely what Rabbit has performed…kind of.

See, it seems that the Rabbit R1 appears to run Android beneath the hood and your entire interface customers work together with is powered by a single Android app. A tipster shared the Rabbit R1’s launcher APK with us, and with a little bit of tinkering, we managed to put in it on an Android cellphone, particularly a Pixel 6a.

As soon as put in, we have been capable of arrange our Android cellphone as if it have been a Rabbit R1. The amount up key on our cellphone corresponds to the Rabbit R1’s {hardware} key, permitting us to proceed by means of the setup wizard, create a “rabbithole” account, and begin speaking to the AI assistant. Because the Rabbit R1 has a considerably smaller and decrease decision show than the Pixel 6a, the house display interface solely took up a tiny portion of the cellphone’s show. Nonetheless, we have been capable of hearth off a query to the AI assistant as if we have been utilizing precise Rabbit R1 {hardware}, as you possibly can see within the video embedded under.

We didn’t trouble testing out every other performance, comparable to Spotify integration, Imaginative and prescient, and so forth., however we wouldn’t be stunned if a few of them didn’t work. In any case, the Rabbit R1’s launcher app is meant to be preinstalled within the firmware and be granted a number of privileged, system-level permissions — solely a few of which we have been capable of grant — so a few of the capabilities would possible fail if we tried. Nonetheless, the truth that this app works in any respect on my cellphone is hilarious and is a testomony to the truth that, at their core, numerous these area of interest {hardware} merchandise run on a modified model of AOSP.

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