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September 21, 2011
Android device developmental team CyanogenMod has taken on the task of porting Android to the HP TouchPad, and there are some surprising developments. HP TouchPad owners who bought the $99 tablet for this very reason may want to read on …
First, a little background on CyanogenMod: The group’s goal is simply to create a super-clean, super-streamlined and rock-solid version of Android. But before you start looking for a download link for the HP TouchPad, there isn’t one. CyanogenMod’s team has decided to wait until things are fully copacetic before it officially releases a version to download. The group also is building Android so users can dual-boot webOS and Android, which means fans of webOS can eat their cake and have it, too.
CyanogenMod also added full multi-touch support in addition to full 3D acceleration support to the TouchPad — which is, like The VAR Guy himself, kind of a big deal. There are missing pieces, though: Bluetooth, battery monitoring, compass, gyroscope and the front-facing camera haven’t been implemented yet. But those last few tweaks are pretty much small potatoes now that the big stuff is ready to roll.
CyanogenMod’s team unveiled a video of how well Android runs on the HP TouchPad, and it’s quite impressive:
So what does this mean for TouchPad owners, Android fans and the future of webOS? First, it shows the versatility of Android, which is good news for Google and Android lovers around the world. That level of proliferation on devices is paramount to continuing the success of the platform (which isn’t really having problems anyway, but it’s nice to know). Secondly, it means not so good things for webOS. If Android on the TouchPad catches on, and HP’s PSG spinoff doesn’t continue to innovate with webOS or related devices, this pretty much could be the first nail in the coffin. The channel, meanwhile, should start getting cozier with Android, because it’s going to be everywhere sooner or later.
The bigger picture is that these developments (no pun intended) are a win for the open source development base. We’ve seen growing support for open source in the data center come from the Open Virtualization Alliance, which has focused on KVM. Having Android on the TouchPad represents just another facet of open source technology that has proven itself usable in the real world.
But what does Android on the HP TouchPad represent for you? Chime in and let us know in the comments.
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