PetaPixel is reporting that GNARBOX appears to be dead. The GNARBOX 2.0 SSD launched on Kickstarter in 2018 and let users back up photos and videos in the field, review and rough-cut footage, cull and edit images, show selects and more.
It’s more than a portable hard drive. Or, at least, it was. The company has apparently gone dark, which leaves existing customers looking for support — and the required app — in the lurch. Without the app, which has been removed from the App Store, new customers can’t actually use all the features that the device promises. We’ve contacted GNARBOX for comment but haven’t yet heard back. We’ll update this article if we do.
What does the GNARBOX 2.0 SSD promise? The device, which is still being sold by retailers like Amazon, Adorama and B&H, promises one-step backup in the field. You can perform some functions with just the device, using the onboard OLED and buttons. Content can be backed up to the hard drive using either of its USB 3.0 Type-C ports or the onboard SD card reader. There’s also an integrated micro-HDMI port. The water, dust and shock-resistant device is built to high standards.
Where GNARBOX separates itself from other portable hard drives is through the connected mobile apps, which allow users to preview RAW photos, make selections, edit and trim video, and showcase the files on the hard drive. The problem is, that app is no longer available. If you just recently got the GNARBOX 2.0 SSD, you’re basically stuck with an expensive portable hard drive. The device costs $499 for a 256GB model, $599 for a 512GB model and $899 for the 1TB version. That’s without a charger and batteries, by the way.
Basically, it’s buyer beware at this point. While we await official word, which may never arrive, PetaPixel also points out that the corporation behind GNARBOX, Mygnar, Inc., has a ‘forfeited’ status. It’s had this status since late October.
Meanwhile, customers are concerned.
Great product, that I hope won’t be a useless pile of plastic if I can no longer get the app…
— Des Paroz (@desparoz) December 26, 2021
Therein lies the major issue. Without the app, while somewhat functional, the device fails to offer its promised features. Companies go out of business and products lose customer support, but not all products lose core functionality when the manufacturer vanishes.
It’s a shame that just over two years after the GNARBOX 2.0 SSD became available at retailers worldwide, the device seemingly has gone out to pasture. We hope that’s not the case, but you don’t need an app to know that the signs aren’t looking good.