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Since the upcoming Earl tablet is an Android device it makes sense to have a G+ community. I have no connection with the Earl team other than I'm a Kickstarter backer of the device and eagerly awaiting mine in the coming months. It's been a long wait but will definitely be worth it.  

I'm by no means wanting to create a schism vs. the official Earl forum but I use Google+ heavily and thought it would be useful to communicate key news about Earl here until we get some actual users on-board.  In the future I hope this becomes a good indeendent resource for getting news and updates on Earl, Earl software and feedback from Earl users.

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So apparently Earl is trying to reincarnate itself... Although I got my money back a long time ago I've signed up to find out what they are up to this time around.

So after a significant (10 weeks) wait I finally got my requested Earl refund a couple of weeks ago.  As I posted earlier it is not the outcome I wanted and if they had never given me the refund I'd be disappointed by not outraged - I'd just wait for the device to ship and probably sell it.  Anyway that didn't happen so I thank them for doing something they didn't actually have it - it shows integrity.  

The Earl may yet turn out to be a very cool device but it is certainly not what I had originally wanted based on their project plans for the Kickstarter.  I'll leave this community here for anyone who wants to share news on it and report on the device when it arrives.  I look forward to further news!


EARL delay and redesign from scratch in smaller form factor

Oh bugger... we just had a new Earl update and they are delaying to the end of the year and basically starting from scratch with a 4.7" mobile phone form factor ditching a lot of the features that don't fit in.  I've personally gotten used to the delivery date of "when-never" but for me the change of form factor is a deal breaker.  I really wanted the larger screen for a flight instrument and ease of use.  The solar panel was also a great backup power source if I ever was really stuck outside.   All that seems to be off the table now.  

So regrettably I just requested a refund, that's $299 I could use for something else - quite possibly for the Yotaphone 2 when it launches in the US.  When and if they actually produce a device I'll check it out and hopefully it is awesome enough to consider buying off the shelf so to speak.  

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Another update from Earl.  I'm not sure why I don't see emails about these but hey, I found it... thank goodness!

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Just posted in the Earl forum... 

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I'm a patient guy, but three monthly updates get to be a bit tiresome after a year and a half.  So I posted something trying to goad them into an update, it was kind of snarky so I'm sure if they even saw it it was ignored.  That was probably the wrong tactic since  I'm pretty sure they have received a ton of hate email for all the delays in the last year and that is a contributing factor as to why they stopped posting updates.   If it was just delays I could excuse them, like I said I'm patient, but lack of any update really irritates me.

How about you guys?

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Alternatives to Earl?

The thing I really wanted most from Earl was a rugged Android phone with daylight visible display and the sensors I care about built in.  Over the past few days I've been looking at rugged Android phones and it turns out there are many.  However so far I haven't found any that are remotely affordable that have close to an e-Ink visibility.  I mean there are some really expensive industrial type devices for well over $1000 but that's no good for me, I think $500 would be my max.  

Then I started looking at e-Ink tablets and didn't find anything with any sensors, they are all more like plain e-Readers.  

Then I looked at eInk phones and quickly came across the YotaPhone.  Granted it is not rugged (I expect I can find a case that will work well enough for what I need though).  Granted it does not have the one sensor I wanted - barometer (I have a bluetooth sensor that does that though).  Granted it is probably going to retail closer to $650 to $700 in the USA (it is a regular phone with full HD color display though).  But damn this is a really cool e-Ink device!  Furthermore the mirror mode means that apps don't have to be specifically developed for that display, many should just work.

So should we still have no believable story for shipping the Earl come early summer I think I'll be placing an order for one (absent any other great alternatives that show up in the mean time).

Another alternative for a high visibility display for your Android phone is the Inkcase which promises to bring a bluetooth connected e-Ink display to many phones

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Someone wrote a blog post about the legitimacy of the Earl project and decided it is.  They also took a snapshot of Twitter posts complaining about a lack of communication with yours truly as #1.  That's completely a coincidence.  And no, they are still not communicating - no update since August 10th and no forum post by their Meetearl forum user since August 23rd.


We sure could use an update... I just don't understand the logic of not posting an electronic jiffy more than once a month.  The forum is also apparently dead to the world too.
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