Android on the HP TouchPad gets a touch closer

Summary:Two groups are porting Android to the HP TouchPad, and both report they are getting close to a working OS.

As soon as the HP TouchPad was placed on sale for $99, Android homebrew developers started picking them up with the intention of porting Android to the tablet. Two different camps emerged working separately on a port, and as is typical in work of this nature progress has been slow so far. One of the primary objectives of both groups was to get the touchscreen working properly, as a tablet without touch is basically useless. Both groups have now demonstrated TouchPads with functioning touchscreens.

One group working on an Android port is the Touchdroid group. This group was formed specifically for working this project, and only yesterday claimed to have solved the nasty touchscreen driver problem. The other group is very well known in the Android world, as CyanogenMod is the most popular homebrew group working with Android phones. The CM7 port to the TouchPad now has the touchscreen working too, and in a video demonstration claims the Touchdroid group reverse engineered the CM7 driver for their project.

The CM7 port is of greater interest to me personally as I am familiar with the quality work this group has consistently done with Android phones and tablets. I have no doubt they will turn out a good implementation of Android Gingerbread for the TouchPad that is stable and fully functional. I also like the fact that they are making the TouchPad port a dual-boot solution, meaning users can boot either native webOS or Android as desired. This eliminates the need to wipe webOS off the TouchPad as is required by the Touchdroid project.

The geek in me is anxious to see the CM7 port in action, but frankly as the owner of both Android tablets and the TouchPad I find webOS to be a better tablet operating environment. It may be fun to play around with Android on the TouchPad, but I can't foresee any function on a tablet that is not better served by webOS.

Topics: Android, Apps, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Software Development

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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