updated 07:40 am EST, Tue December 21, 2010
ViewSonic gTablet recall prompted by Flash and UI
ViewSonic late Monday explained that the sudden recall of the gTablet was owed to a combination of unfinished software from Adobe and itself. The company has been affected by the same lack of Flash optimization for the Tegra 2 chip and won't have an official option for Flash 10 until late January, when Adobe hopes to have a faster version. Users who still feel they need Flash can download it separately, the company said.
Americans General Manager Jeff Volpe also acknowledged that the custom Tap 'n Tap UI layer on top of Android had been rushed. There were "several issues" with the interface, he said, including slow performance. An update will be available over Wi-Fi by Christmas Eve and will even let users drop the custom UI entirely in favor of a more stock Android 2.2 interface.
The tablet newcomer reiterated that it was committed to tablets and had more to show at CES in early January.
Most every tablet launched so far using a combination of Android and NVIDIA's Tegra 2 has had at least some problems. Advent has had the least trouble and pulled Flash without affecting sales or the rest of the experience, but the Toshiba Folio 100 was pulled from British stores after poor overall quality led to a high number of returns. A fully optimized experience with both the Honeycomb version of Android and a full speed version of Flash might not be ready until February, leaving many of the early Android tablets without full support for the next few months. Apple has routinely avoided Flash on the iPad in part because of the lack of optimization and relative performance.
The Tegra 2 itself isn't necessarily the issue and is believed to be the reference processor for all Honeycomb tablets.