HP released the source code for the Open webOS 1.0 operating system last week. While HP doesn’t have plans to sell any phones, tablets, or other products running the operating system, independent developers have already started porting it to run on existing devices.
We’ve seen an early build running on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. And now developer Steven Troughton-Smith is working to bring Open webOS to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet.
Both of those devices ship with Google Android software. But if you unlock the bootloader on either device you can replace the default operating system with alternate software.
Right now the build for the Transformer Prime is still in the early stages. When Troughton-Smith first got it to boot, that’s all it would do. After booting it would freeze before you could do anything else.
His latest picture shows the webOS lock screen, which is a pretty good sign that he’s making progress.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is a tablet with a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and 1GB of RAM. HP never optimized webOS to run on a device with this particular chip, but since webOS can run on an Ubuntu Linux kernel… and since there’s already a port of Ubuntu for the Transformer Prime, some of the work was done before Troughton-Smith even got started.
It’s likely that in the coming months we’ll see Open webOS ported to run on even more devices.
While there aren’t as many third party apps available for the platform as there are for Android or iOS, some folks prefer the webOS user interface, development platform, or just the challenge of porting open source hardware to run on various devices.