HP TouchPad to run Android thanks to TouchDroid

first_imgBy now, there’s a massive, yet unconfirmed, number of brand new owners of the HP TouchPad tablet. As you read this, thousands of apps are being installed, the UI played with, and the device as a whole is being re-judged. Compared to other tablets in the market, the TouchPad is still a major competitor when it comes to hardware, and yet it’s only $99 right now… if you can find one. So, they will continue to fly off the shelves until there are none left and the people at HP can move on with their lives.What happens when that “new gadget smell” wears off, though? The honeymoon effect with your new, heavily-discounted device wears off and you’re left with a tablet that isn’t likely to get any better than it is right now unless you do something yourself. The Preware community already has a nice collection of things you can do to play with any WebOS device, but even that has its limits. So, what are you to do with that shiny new tablet? Well, eventually, you’ll be able to put Android on it.RootzWiki, the Android-focused rooting, modding, and development forum has put together a small team dedicated towards assembling Android for the TouchPad, as well as performing the hacks necessary to shoehorn the OS on the device. The team has put forth a clear plan of attack and is documenting the process along the way using both the RootzWiki forum as well as a separate “TouchDroid” Wiki. Each of the team members purchased their own TouchPads, but also have a donation link available in case they brick one of their TouchPads, or if one needs to be the victim of a teardown for additional information.Basically, they will attempt to put (stock) Android 2.3.5 from the Android Open Source Project on the device at first. If that succeeds, they will move in to CyanogenMod, a popular Android rom that has a full suite of tablet enhancements for large screens. When the next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, becomes available, the team plans to port that to the TouchPad as well, provided Google sticks to their plan to release Source once again when that version comes out.This attempt has garnered a mixed bag of responses from TouchPad users. There are those who would rather keep their stock WebOS experience still, though I refer you to the first paragraph for my opinion on that. There are those who welcome the Android port with open arms, and likely bought the tablet with that in mind from the beginning. While I am an Android user, I must say that I am a huge fan of the WebOS experience and have preferred it over Android for some time now.I’m not the only one, apparently. James Kendrick recent wrote that what he would rather see happen is closer to what RIM has in store for the Playbook. Some sort of emulator to allow Android apps to run on the TouchPad, while still following the rules and multitasking principles of WebOS. I have to say, that idea excites me. I feel that solution would certainly be more elegant, and would preserve much of what we have come to appreciate from WebOS. I do know, however, that making that work is a great deal more difficult then just shoehorning Android onto the TouchPad. So while I am excited at the possibility, I will refrain from holding my breath.Another notion that was raised was the possibility of seeing Windows 7 or Windows 8 on the tablet in the future. Essentially, if the TouchPad gets opened up for Android, the sky will be the limit for modders who want to push the limits of this device. So many things will be possible as long as there is an audience and developers interested in making the TouchPad do “all of the things.” If you have a TouchPad, keep your eyes on the RootzWiki guys, as they will most certainly be making noise about their developments regularly.last_img read more