Update 9/17/11: The CyanogenMod team has made a lot of progress in the last few weeks. Since this article was posted, they’ve managed to get WiFi, audio, hardware graphics acceleration, and the accelerometer working. Android on the HP TouchPad is still a work in progress, but that work is progressing at a very quick pace.
Several teams of independent developers have been spending the past few weeks trying to port Google Android to run on the HP TouchPad. We’ve seen a little progress, but up until now while developers have managed to boot Android on the tablet, that’s about as far as they’ve gotten, since there were no working touchscreen drivers.
Now the folks at Team TouchDroid say they’ve figured out how to get the touchscreen working, which is overcomes one of the biggest hurdles to getting Android to run properly on the HP TouchPad.
The 9.7 inch tablet ships with the webOS 3.0 operating system, but after HP announced it was canceling the tablet interest in an Android port picked up for two reasons:
- HP started selling remaining inventory for prices as low as $99, which makes the TouchPad one of the cheapest high quality tablets available.
- Since there’s no certainty that webOS will continue to receive regular updates or additional third party apps (although HP is promising both), replacing the operating system with Android could make the tablet more useful.
The TouchDroid folks have released a video showing the touchscreen working. The device can support up to 10 simultaneous touch inputs at once. It’s not clear at this point whether other hardware such as the tablet’s WiFi, accelerometer, or other sensors are supported.
The HP TouchPad has a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor, a 1024 x 768 pixel display, and comes with either 16GB or 32GB of storage. The tablet is hard to find these days, with nearly every available model disappearing once HP started offering deep discounts. But the company plans to manufacture one more batch of tablets so there should be a few hundred thousand more available in the next month or two.
While Android for the TouchPad is still a work in progress, hackers have already figured out how to run Ubuntu Linux on HP’s tablet.
Update: Not to be outdone, the folks at CyanogenMod have posted a video showing even more progress, with multitouch drivers working and hardware graphics acceleration. The CyanogenMod team says TouchDroid also relied on their drivers to get the touchscreen working.