HP’s tablet that was officially discontinued months after it launched in 2011 continues to live on thanks to unofficial software updates from a devoted community of developers.

The HP TouchPad is a 9.7 inch tablet with a dual-core CPU, a 1024 x 768 pixel display, and a version of the webOS operating system that’s no longer being actively developed. But for the past few years independent developers have been keeping the HP TouchPad useful by creating custom builds of Google Android for the tablet.

The latest build of CyanogenMod 11 from developer Jcsullins is based on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and it shows that HP’s tablet still has legs… in fact, features that haven’t always been working in older versions of Android are well supported in this software.

hp touchpad with android 4.4 kitkat

For instance, HD video playback is fully supported, the tablet’s front-facing camera works, Bluetooth works, and the tablet’s battery life seems to be decent.

Update: There’s a new tool called TouchPad Toolbox which makes it much easier to install recent builds of Android on the HP TouchPad.

My old guide for installing Android on the HP TouchPad is becoming increasingly dated… especially since the latest Android ROMs for the TouchPad are “Data Media builds,” which means they use a different disk partitioning scheme than older versions.

Roland Deschain has details on what separates the Data Media builds from earlier versions, and how to install a more recent Android ROM on the HP TouchPad. Note that you’ll need the appropriate build of ACMEInstaller 5 — earlier versions won’t work.

While it’s kind of a pain to switch to set up a Data Media build, in the end you’ll have more space for apps and games and support for more recent versions of the Android 3.x kernel.

While I wouldn’t really recommend anybody pick up an HP TouchPad in 2014 when there are plenty of cheap tablets available that come with Android preloaded, folks who managed to pick one up during the great $99 fire sale of 2011 can continue to get more life out of their aging tablets with the latest unofficial updates.

Note that this is still an unofficial build of an operating system that’s not supported by HP. Some users have reported problems with Netflix, Google Maps, or other apps and Deschain tells me Bluetooth performance isn’t stellar, and can cause the Touchpad to crash.

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22 replies on “HP TouchPad lives on with unofficial Android 4.4.2 KitKat builds”

  1. My touchpad is running andriod 4.4.2 and sometimes, it just shut down by itself. Every time that happens, I can open the tablet again but this time, the tablet won’t open. I’ve been pressing the power button for like more than a minute.

  2. Touchpad Toolbox makes installing KitKat and Lollipop a breeze on the Touchpad.

  3. I am so happy to see all of this. i missed the fire sale but found my HPTP at an office salvage place, hehe picked it up for $30 and a oldd 160gb 2.5in HDD(yay for trade). I have been running ICS for about 2 years now, the newer versions looked much harder to install and i didn’t want to lose all my game progress. Well i am going to try it anyway so i can resize the volumes, so i can get some of the larger games available.

  4. I need help! My HP Touchpad won’t power on. I’ve done all the tricks I could find anywhere and nothing works. I’ve tried different power cords so it should have charged. I had installed Cyanogen Android in late 2012, and it was awesome! I’ve seen issues posted about the HP Touchpad internal battery failing and needing to be replaced. If that’s what I need, will HP support me? Is there someplace else that can do it? Thanks for any assistance/advice!

    1. I have had that issue in the past when I left my touchpad on for days. This causes the battery to deplete to such low levels that it can’t even turn on the charging circuitry. The trick was to connect it to a low powered usb power overnight or until it recovers. I think I chose to connect it to an older laptop, but you can also try one of those older usb adapters that are rated for lower current.

    2. I also had this happen, but I tried everything and in the end, I bought a new battery on eBay and switched it out and that fixed it. This was 2 years ago and it’s still working today.

  5. I’m trying to do this on my Mac os x 10.9.3 and when i put the touchpad in recovery mode my mac won’t detect the USB. Any ideas why it’s doing this?

  6. I’ve got my Touchpad running Android 4.1.2 right now.

    I looked into updating to 4.3 a while back, but the instructions were no longer as simple as downloading the ZIP, going into ClockworkMod and installing the ZIP as they had been. More had to be done related to a partition not being large enough, IIRC.

    Is anyone aware of some solid instructions on updating from 4.1.2 to, perhaps, this 4.4.2 version?

  7. The Touchpad has proved itself one of the best of my purchases. It has been serving the family without a stop since that firesale. Big thanks to the Cyanogenmod folks for the initial release and this 4.4 version.

    1. If you think its a battery issue just conect the hp touchpad to a regular cellphone charger. You will get a message saying that its the wrong charger…leave it…hours until it wakes up. If you have done that then press power and home at the same time for about two minutes….dont give up…if that doesnt work then do the power volume up and home for about two minutes as well. One of them will work for sure

  8. I can’t help but root (pun intended) for the devoted fans of this piece.
    Surely will be noted in the history of these things.

  9. I first found this site when I picked up a 32gb Touchpad during the fire sale. I’ve installed various android builds (both official CyanogenMod builds and unofficial builds like jcsullins’ KitKat releases) on it and right now I still find it useful running 4.2.2 (I’ve tried newer versions on it but found they weren’t stable enough or had other issues that interfered with the experience…)

    I also invested in a BlackBerry PlayBook (great hardware but poor support) and just got a Dell Venue 8 for my dedicated Android use, but the Touchpad remains a tablet that I use a lot…

    1. yeah I almost bought a playbook when they went cheap, then the dropped BB10 support and I was glad I dodged a bullet.

      Yeah the hardware looked good, and I wanted to play with the BB10 os but the company just keeps making bone headed moves.

  10. This is the perfect example as to why MS should sell their 8″ RT for next to nothing. Sell something for cheap, flood the market with it, and the developers will flock!

    1. If you had ever looked at what a mess WinRT development and deployment is you’ll realize that the insignificant market share is only part of the reason why this platform, and all of Windows 8.x.y, is a failure. Developers are fleeing further away every day.

  11. Love my HPTP with android. It was how I originally found this site. Yikes!! Has it really been nearly 3 years?!?!?!

    1. That is also how I discovered Liliputing. I still have my 32gb Touchpad running Cyanogenmod 10, but its been collecting dust for almost a year.

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