What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

Summary: A project is underway to port Android to the HP TouchPad, but that's not the best way to go. I would rather see an Android Player written to let Android apps runs natively in webOS on the HP tablet.

TOPICS: Hewlett-Packard

The situation of the HP TouchPad has been nothing short of bizarre, with reports of dozens lining up outside retailers to buy one of the HP tablets now reduced in price to as little as $99. New buyers of the TouchPad are contacting me by the dozens looking for tips and tricks to get the most out of them.

As popular as the TouchPad seems to be since getting killed off by HP, it still is being supported by them for the foreseeable future. While most developers are leaving their apps in the App Catalog, there is no guarantee all of them will do so. There is not a big selection of apps available for the TouchPad as it is, and there will not be any new ones developed for a dead product.

Some developers are picking up the now cheap TouchPad with the intention of porting Android to the tablet. The thought must be to bring Android with its access to thousands of apps to the TouchPad. This project is just getting underway and I will watch it to see how fast it progresses.

The truth is I like webOS much better than Android so I am not sure how I will like replacing the former with the latter. There is a lot to be said for having access to a lot of apps, however. For that reason alone I would love to see some intrepid developer create an Android Player for the TouchPad. RIM is working on one for the PlayBook so it should be possible. I am not a developer nor do I play one on the Internet so I could be wrong about that.

This Android Player would be an Android emulator that runs as an app on the TouchPad desktop. It should give access to finding and installing Android apps as if written natively for the TouchPad. One Android app could be run at a time in a single task card that could be minimized as desired. This would allow Android apps to run alongside webOS apps on the TouchPad, which would be very, very cool.

I suspect that even though the TouchPad has been cancelled by HP, quite a few of existing owners would shell out big bucks for such an emulator. My guess is the first developer to do this could make some pretty decent coin for the TouchPad Android Player. I also think HP would find webOS to be a much more compelling product to shop around if it could run Android apps.

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Topic: Hewlett-Packard

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  • What I'd like would be an IOS player

    $100 iPad baby! :-)

    I find iOS apps to be higher quality and to do the things i actually want unlike what I find on the shelf in the android market.

    Case in point: the missing WSJ Tablet app for Android Honeycomb. Mossberg himself wrote extolling the virtues of this app, calling it the best app for reading the WSJ, even better than the one they had produced for the iPad!

    To this day I've never been able to get it.

    Android or the lack of apps isn't what killed the DeadPad. Poor hardware design, poor hardware specs and poor OS software and very extremely poor OS software configuration choices coupled with an embarrassingly bad set of issues with the app catalog at launch killed it.
    • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

      @scotty1024 Huh? The Apps are crossing platforms almost 75% of the time and that will only get higher... 7 or 8 of the top 10 in any category have been ported to Android.
  • Android Player??? Are you kidding?

    Even by Android's low quality standard the player is kind of crappy. Why in the world would anybody think that is appropriate for anything?
    • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

      @wackoae Are you kidding? My Bluray Rips play awesome on my XOOM and they are similar size to the Apple HD Rentals from iTunes.

      It looked better on my XOOM than on my wife's iPad 2 simply because I could actually watch the movies in 720P.
  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    I have to disagree, Let WebOS Die, the market cannot support 5 different mobile operating systems and at least one more has to die before the others are fully sustainable.

    The question is, is it Windows Phone 7 or QNX that will collapse next.
    • You know WP7 won't collapse, but the signs pointing to Android

      @Peter Perry

      aren't all that promising of late, so I would go with QNX.
      William Farrell
  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    This is a pointless waste of time, with no new hardware and (relatively) few TouchPads in the wild this is pointless. I think people are thinking that HP are going to start churning these puppies out again - not going to happen. The platform is dead.

    Why waste time on porting ANYTHING. If someone does pickup webOS then that might be something (don't get me wrong - I had high hopes for webOS, it was a nice looking OS).

    The weak part of the TouchPad was always the hardware, they built it to compete with iPad 1 and it went up against iPad 2... (oh dear)

    Sure at $99 it looks like a steal, but it has no future, factor that in then $99 looks less of a bargain. It'll get no updates for emerging web standards, no new apps, no bug fixes or security updates, no new versions of Flash...

    Personally, I'd not waste my time.
    • you fail to properly estimate the power of the homebrew community


      head over to xda-devs and see how many different ports, mods, skins, and ROMs there are for Windows Mobile 6.5 phones. That's what MS and HTC got for turning a blind eye to the modding community. HP actively embraced it.

      Besides, doesn't everything exist in "the cloud" and work in "the browser" now? The Touchpad has one of those, y'know.

  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    "The truth is I like webOS much better than Android so I am not sure how I will like replacing the former with the latter."

    That's funny, because I was playing a lot with the TouchPad at Staples, and it was a far better than the Blackberry Playbook, but I was having a hell of a lot more fun with the Xoom than the TouchPad.
    gork platter
  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    Developers say it is a no-go:

    " Originally Posted by cmakar
    I had a question about who is developing the "App Player" for the Blackberry Playbook? If they can do this for the Playbook, I would assume that the same can be done with the HP Touchbook.. This would at least allow users to use the slick multitasking features of Web OS and give access to all of these Android store apps until a port of Gingerbread, ICS or Honeycomb. I was also interested if anyone was able to get the 64MB edition that was briefly released. I was going to call HP and see if they are selling anything. $99.00 for 16GB, %149 for the 32 ... possible $200 - $250 for the 64GB version. This would be better for allocating more partition space if it can be partitioned. I read something about this briefly in another post.
    We would get sued by Oracle for not having a DalvikVM license in about 3 seconds after we release it for a couple million dollars... so I doubt we would be able to release anything like that. As for the 64GB touchpad, I havent heard anyone getting it, but if it is for sale I would consider buying it (collectors item?)"

    Source: http://rootzwiki.com/showthread.php?t=3327&page=11
  • Android 2.3 for the touchpad will be out on 8/24/11

  • Umm - just one potential fly in this ointment

    Perhaps in three years, the TouchPad battery dies. (I don't know if this will happen. Actually, I sort of doubt it but -- )

    I don't think the battery is user replaceable. This might prove problematic for a non geek tech consumer. Of course, that consumer will have only paid 100 to 150 dollars for the TouchPad and knowing how tech gets dated fast, I guess in three years the TouchPad consumer can move on to something else.

    But the question remains, how many developers and support groups will devote valuable time towards preserving WebOS for a tablet with a limited life span?
  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    Sure webOS might be nicer, but it was DOA for the Touchpad - way too many tech companies have gone the way of the Dodo letting pursuit of perfection get in way of flawed, but serviceable devices - Microsoft's "success" is perfect.example - get a decent, if flawed, product on the shelf and get sales and then improve as time passes. HP was set to release windows-based tablet last year but dicked around for a year after buying Palm. That single.decision probably changed the entire history of HP going forward - had they got a foot in the door early, before Honeycomb was released, we might be witnessing Android walk away from the Tablet segment.
  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    Damn! Pretend geeks sure know how to waste their time.
  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    Why porting ??? To get sued???

    Android is pirated software, full of malware. From a user perspective anybody with common sense should not invest in android unless the lawsuits are settled and the platform is secure. The so called 18 month sotware support is unacceptable. MS and Apple are offering software upgrades for many years.
    • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player


      In fact, I choose Android over iPad PRIMARILY because it is a lot easier to install paid apps without paying for it or hacking the device like what you have to do in the Apple ecosystem. Long live pirates!
  • is it possible to port iOS to TouchPad ?

    hmmm iOS what a creepy selfish OS
  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    HP should communicate better. As far as I know WebOs is not dead. At least not yet. If they open source is, it will not dye.
    Maybe there can be problems in supporting the OS on the platform.
    And yes there should be an Android port. And a player for the Apps. And we should chose what we want to run, not the manufacturers locking us in.
  • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

    If we install the patches that were posted here: <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/mobile-news/how-to-improve-the-performance-of-your-new-hp-touchpad/3866" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.zdnet.com/blog/mobile-news/how-to-improve-the-performance-of-your-new-hp-touchpad/3866</a><br>would we still be able to install android if it becomes available? Or will the patches screw any future ports/players?
    Squatting Hen
    • RE: What the HP TouchPad needs is an Android Player

      @Squatting Hen Whatever you install or patch, you can always go back to square one by using the WebOS Doctor or whatever it's called - basically reverts everything how it was out of the Box (although with the latest official WebOS version)
      BK Phil