Want to run Android apps on an HP TouchPad tablet, but don’t want to actually go so far as to install Android? The folks at Phoenix International Communications have been working on porting OpenMobile’s Application Compatibility Layer (ACL) to the platform so that you can run Android apps without leaving webOS.

To finish the work, the team took to Kickstarter recently in hopes of raising $35,000 to help pay for development costs. Now they’ve reached that goal, with more than a week left to go in the campaign.

HP TouchPad with ACL

Reaching the Kickstarter goal means that whatever money is pledged by the time the campaign ends will be released to the folks at Phoenix, which seriously increases the chances that they’ll be able to release their software by July, as planned.

Extra money could pay for additional projects, such as adding support for apps designed for Android 4.0 and later (right now ACL supports apps designed for the 2.x branch of Android). Phoenix is also hoping to work with hardware partners to release a phone running open webOS software, keeping the webOS dream alive.

HP paid $1.2 billion to acquire Palm a few years ago with the hopes of challenging Google and Apple in the mobile phone and tablet space. But a few months after the HP TouchPad tablet was released, HP decided to scrap all of its webOS hardware due to sales that were well below expectations.

There are still at least a few million HP TouchPad owners out there though, as the 9.7 inch tablets sold like hotcakes when HP slashed prices from $499 and up down to as little as $99 to liquidate the remaining inventory.

The TouchPad features a 1024 x 768 pixel display, a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage or more. Unfortunately, since the webOS platform never became hugely popular, the number of third party apps for webOS devices is pretty small compared with the list of apps available for other mobile operating systems.

Many folks have discovered that the TouchPad’s hardware is actually pretty decent, and the tablet can run most Android apps if you take the time to install Android and create a dual-boot tablet. But there are also some folks who simply prefer webOS thanks to its strong multitasking system, among other things.

The Phoenix project to bring ACL offers a way to continue using the HP TouchPad as a webOS tablet, while gaining access to hundreds of thousands of phone and tablet-friendly apps designed for Android.

via webOS Nation

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7 replies on “Phoenix hits $35,000 goal to bring Android apps to webOS on the HP TouchPad”

  1. I am so excited about this, my wife and I are usually Bleeding Edge type people, but we both had laptops and felt we did not need a tablet. But when the fire sale occurred,,,,like someone already has said, the price was so got why not.

    I dual boot on my HP just so I can have SlingPlayer, but check my email on the WebOS side of things, (there are still no email clients for Android that can compare to WebOS Email)

    My Wife still has hers WebOS only. If this project ever comes to us the consumer and is at the right price, I will jump on it. Take dual booting off of my tablet and be one happy camper.

    P.S. I have tons of old technology that is still very useful and works in my every day life.

    (Apple G4 and G5s, Old XP machines) I just cannot justify 300 to now 1000 dollars for a new tablet, when my trusty HP TouchPad is running, and running fine.


  2. wouldn’t it be cool to be able to port open webOS with ACLS onto a decent android tablet?

  3. Kind of cool, but isn’t the march of progress going to leave this hardware behind at some point despite the good intentions of the developers and community?

    1. I heartily agree. In a world in which there are only so many resources to go around, their actions beg the question, “Why?”.

      1. The short answer is, because there’s demand for it.

        They figure that if people can pledge 35k to get it done that it’s worth it, and I would hazard a bet that it is.

        I have a Touchpad, I nearly got 2. For $99, you’d be crazy NOT to get one, it’s a PDA at the very least, able to surf the web and play music and videos with ease.

        My wife absolutely loves it and to some extent I too am endeared to it for some reason. We both have Android tablets, I gave her my Acer A500 which she also loves and I have a Nexus 7. The Touchpad still feels so…useful. We could probably sell it and get another Android tablet but neither of us want to let it go. We both like WebOS and I decided that I didn’t really want to go the dual-boot route when the version of Android on HP isn’t stable atm. I also just don’t want to dual boot.

        If these folks can create something smooth and bug free, I’d be willing to purchase it at the right price in order to get some more apps on the Touchpad, especially if it runs seamlessly within WebOS.

    2. Just because there are newer, better tablets out there doesn’t mean that the 2-million or more people with TouchPads have to upgrade. There are plenty of people using computers that are more than 5 years old on a daily basis. I bet there are still folks using Palm Pilots to manage their calendars.

      I’m a big fan of breathing new life into old gadgets to make them more usable for a longer period of time.

      Sure, there’s always going to be something newer and better around the corner, but software can do amazing things to make old hardware feel new again and keep it out of the landfill a little longer.

      1. An honest answer to an honest question.
        Thanks Brad!
        Definitely something to consider.

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