Could the HP TouchPad Also Run the Android OS in the Future?
Before HP even started the liquidation of the HP TouchPad, the internet was abuzz with the idea that the TouchPad may one day receive an Android port. Apparently, a team at Qualcomm has already done the preliminary groundwork to get it to boot into Google’s mobile operating system. Read on for the implications and a little perspective for those of you with a TouchPad wishing it wasn’t running webOS …
First, here’s the bad news: It’s not likely the TouchPad will ever run Honeycomb. Honeycomb (Android 3.0) is closed source, and until Google releases Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) there won’t be a unification of the Phone OS and the Tablet OS. So it’s likely the TouchPad will be running a 10-inch version of Android Gingerbread for phones (Android 2.0).
If that doesn’t deter you, here’s the good news: According to AndroidCentral.com, Qualcomm, the makers of the CPU that powers the HP TouchPad, has already allegedly managed to make the TouchPad boot into Android 2.2.
Want some proof? Here’s the video:
Yes, I hear you. It could be the TouchPad playing a video, or some other trickery. But apparently, the story is, the device actually shipped like this. It’s not clear how it accidentally shipped with Android, but the Quic logo you see during the boot up is the real logo of Qualcomm’s legitimate Qualcomm Innovation Center. Quic strives to create open and interoperable hardware and software platforms, so I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow, a Qualcomm employee returned a loaner unit to HP, but HP failed to re-install webOS on it before it repackaged and shipped it out the door.
For the channel, if some sort of “official” version of Android gets ported to the TouchPad, migration from webOS to Android OS could become a quick value-add for VARs doing mobile security. If you’ve already got a savvy technical staff, it could be an easy billable process, too. But do disillusioned TouchPad owners really want to switch to Android? Or will they stick it out with webOS until a new tablet comes along?