Advice and answers from the GNARBOX Team

As a GNARBOX owner, it's important to maintain the software on your unit in order to have the best possible performance and functionality.  Our team is focused on constantly improving our app's user experience, and we plan to push out regular updates.  We encourage our users to send us feedback and information about their experience using the GNARBOX - this will help us prioritize development items to best suit your needs.

In the Software Releases section of this site, we plan to share information about our product's software functionality as it evolves over time.  This will take the form of an introductory post about Version 1.0.0 as well as periodic Release Notes.  

Now, let's learn a little bit more about the software stack!  If you don't care to take a look under the hood, you can stop reading here and move on to the Version 1.0.0 Introduction post.
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Generally speaking, the software on the GNARBOX has four different components, built with the focused goal of making it easier to create amazing content without a laptop:

  1. Mobile app - your screen and keyboard for the GNARBOX
  2. Media server - the GNARBOX's way of managing tasks and communicating with the app
  3. Transcoder - the GNARBOX's engine for processing media files, including videos, photos, and audio
  4. Operating system - a customized distribution of Android and Linux that underpin our system

When we push out releases, there could be changes to one or multiple of the components in our stack.  Component 1 will always be updated through the app store on your iOS or Android phone/tablet.  For Components 2-4, we will be using the Firmware Update option on our app's settings page to download an update package (usually about 15 MB), send it to the GNARBOX, and update the software.  During the course of these normal updates, the files on your box will never be affected or lost.

It is possible that in some instances, the bare bones of our system may need to be upgraded.  Any change to our Linux Kernel or Disk Partitioning requires a re-flash of the eMMC component in the GNARBOX.   There are no updates like this on the roadmap, but in these cases, you would need to back up and store your files before making an update.  Rest assured that any update poised to have an impact on your files or data will come with ample communication and warnings.

In the future, we do plan to open some of our platform tools and APIs to partners and developers.  Although the ecosystem is currently not explicitly open for development and hacking, there are some ways to start learning your way around if you're interested.  We won't go into much more detail on this topic in this post, but be sure to keep your eye out for additional technical information on our Software Development Blog.

Now for the fun stuff - head over to the Version 1.0.0 Introduction post.

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