Several months ago we first talked about our plan to add Android to the Ceton Echo as a path to enable new capabilities. Since then the Echo team has been working incredibly hard to make that happen and they've made excellent progress. Most of us here have been running Echo with Android at home for months now. A few weeks ago we started beta testing the Android upgrade with people outside of the company as well. Unfortunately the testing results have not been what we expected and we are announcing today that we will not be able to bring Android to the current Echo hardware as we had hoped.
You’re no doubt wondering why. In a nutshell, while we have Android up and running quite well on the Echo hardware in our labs, the in-home upgrade process fails at a higher rate than is acceptable. The failure is caused by one of the third-party components that Echo uses. The issue doesn't affect using Echo as a Windows Media Center Extender at all, and only occurs during the Android upgrade process. The issue wasn't known when Echo launched and didn't surface until in-home testing of the Android upgrade started. We have been working with the component manufacturer to try to help them develop a fix to enable in-home upgrades on the current hardware but they have unfortunately not been successful. As a result, we have no choice but to cancel the Android project.
We know this will be a big disappointment to folks. No one is more disappointed than us. The Echo team have put their heart and souls into the Android project for the last several months. Sometimes things are simply beyond one’s control and tough decisions have to be made.
We’ll continue to sell and support Echo as a Media Center Extender, as we have all along. While we won’t be able to add new the capabilities Android would bring, Echo remains a great solution for anyone that wants the core Extender feature set of whole-home TV, DVR, movies, music and video in a great looking, small, silent device that consumes a fraction of the electricity used by other extenders and set-top boxes.