One of the reasons the HP TouchPad became so popular (after HP discontinued the tablet and slashed the price by 80 percent) is because the tablet can be hacked to run Google Android in addition to the webOS software it ships with. But what if you could run Android apps from webOS without rebooting your device at all?

HP TouchPad with CyanogenMod 9

Eventually you may be able to. A company called OpenMobile is reportedly working with HP to bring support for Android apps to webOS. The feature could eventually find its way to the HP TouchPad and other devices.

HP is also working to turn webOS into an open source project, so even if HP wasn’t working with OpenMobile, we could eventually see that company or others bring Android app comatibility to the operating system one day.

What this would do is dramatically increase the number of apps available for the platform. While webOS has won praise for its multitasking and notification systems as well as its development tools, there are tens of thousands of native webOS apps while there are hundreds of thousands of apps available for Android.

Research in Motion has taken a similar approach with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. The company’s latest tablet operating system includes an Android App Player which allows users to run some Android apps on a PlayBook tablet.

OpenMobile also provides tools that make it possible to run Android apps on devices running MeGo or Tizen Linux.

via webOS Nation

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