Android on HP TouchPad hits snag

Google's Android operating system has been targeted for a port to HP's TouchPad ever since the tablet went on sale for as little as $100. But the port has not gone very smoothly.

Android on the HP TouchPad has hit a bump as the TouchDroid team that was porting the Google operating system to the tablet has called it quits, according to a report and a post on a TouchDroid-related Web page.

The TouchPad became a hot item when it was fire-saled by HP.
The TouchPad became a hot item when it was fire-saled by HP. Hewlett-Packard

Small-device enthusiast Web site Liliputing said today that the TouchDroid team has been "disbanded."

"This morning there were at least two teams of independent developers working to port Google's Android operating system to run on the HP TouchPad tablet--but there was pretty strong evidence that one of those teams was cribbing work from the other," Liliputing said. "This afternoon there's only one team left standing."

That team left standing is CyanogenMod, which appears to be taking over the port, according to a poster, who said that "the [TouchDroid] team began to break up and its trusted members are no longer actively working on a port for the HP TouchPad under this team." A reader forum at PreCentral has already generated a thread related to the disbanding of the TouchDroid team.

Why all the fuss? The interest stems from the fact that the TouchPad has become a very inexpensive vehicle for running the Google operating system. HP has been conducting a fire sale of the TouchPad at $100 and $150 for 16GB and 32GB models, respectively, in the wake of shuttering its WebOS device business.

And the TouchPad has fairly robust hardware, including a dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a 9.7 inch and 1024x768-pixel capacitive multitouch display.

The most recent dust-up isn't the first, either. The Android port to the TouchPad has a brief yet tumultuous past. Crave writer Erik Mack reported last month that the "effort to port the Android operating system onto the HP TouchPad seems to have splintered into two separate teams after a brief but nasty civil war that included name-calling and allegations of theft. "

The CyanogenMod team are "pretty close" to releasing a fully functional version of Google Android 2.3.5 for the TouchPad, according to Liliputing. "The only major component still missing is Wi-Fi support," the Web site said. "CyanogenMod also plans to offer a dual-boot solution, which means that you won't have to uninstall WebOS to boot Android, so you'll be able to get the best of both worlds on the tablet," the Liliputing post added.