It's an age-old problem: do we clamor for a company to ship a product that's not ready, or do we swallow delays with grace as it aims to deliver when things are good and ready? Such a choice has to be made when it comes to Automatic, the California-based startup which had originally hoped to start shipping its automotive dongle + app platform at the end of this month. Those (including yours truly) who pre-ordered on day one received an email last night delivering the news that things were running a bit behind schedule. The hardware itself is actually already being manufactured, but stellar components are only a piece of the total puzzle. The software -- an iPhone app, in this instance -- still needs more time in the proverbial oven, and now we're being told that packages won't ship until "the end of August."
A three-month hiccup is nothing to scoff at, and Automatic seemingly knows it. In order to sate those who were hoping to use the $70 product during their upcoming summer road trips, the company is giving early pre-orderers the option to beta test the app as it stands today. For those who agree, they'll receive their hardware in mid-June, but they'll be forced to use it with a version of the app that "lacks a few features like Crash Alert and support for multiple cars and users." We'll be keeping a close eye as the situation develops, and will definitely endeavor to pass along a review just as soon as we're able. If you're curious, we've embedded the email in full just after the break.