HP TouchPad users may see Android on their tablets
Known for creating their own modified Android builds for mobile devices, the folks at CyanogenMod are working on a mod designed to bring Android to the HP TouchPad.
Lance WhitneyContributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Anyone who picked up a $100 HP TouchPad at the recent fire sale may eventually be able to run Android on their new tablet.
The crew at CyanogenMod, which creates customized builds of Android for mobile devices, has succeeded in porting over a version of Android that can run on HP's now discontinued tablet.
An open letter and video from CyanogenMod posted on the RootzWiki Web site yesterday show that developers have so far been able to run a Cyanogenmod version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread on an HP TouchPad.
The video reveals the Android OS booting up and launching into a home screen and then displaying icons for a few apps. Though the developers seem to be making progress, one major feature still missing in action is touch-screen support. In the video, CyanogenMod is controlling the tablet through a remote console.
But the narrator of the CyanogenMod video acknowledges that "these are just the very first steps and there will be more progress soon, I hope."
Next on the team's agenda will be to enable touch-screen support. But to continue its work, CyanogenMod is looking for a helping hand in the form of a few more HP TouchPads that it can use for testing. The final goal will be to enable TouchPad users to run both the modified Android build and HP's WebOS on the same tablet.
"Our ultimate vision is to create a multiboot solution where the end user will be able to boot into WebOS, Cyanogenmod, and/or other" OSes, said CyanogenMod in its letter. "This appears to be very possible, and we have discussed several potential implementations with our new friends in the WebOS development community to make it easy for an end-user to set up."
CyanogenMod provided no ETA for its final product and in fact cautioned that "it will certainly be a long while before our goals become reality."
With a host of tablet buyers scooping up HP's TouchPad at fire sale prices, other developers are looking at Android support. A group called the TouchDroid team also wants to port Android onto the TouchPad. Though their goal is to port over Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, the TouchDroid developers are apparently just getting started because as of a week ago they had yet to pick up a TouchPad to use for testing.