How many of you bought a bargain HP TouchPad for just $99 this weekend? Yeah, I’m guessing quite a few of you did. I did the same; I ordered one from the U.S. this morning. Now, even more so than before, I’m wondering what will happen to the webOS platform. Will it be sold to another company that will develop the OS for their own devices, or will HP go back on its promise and allow the platform to die?
Either way, there isn’t going to be a whole lot of support for your new TouchPad in the future. Even if the operating system does live on under another manufacturer, it’s not going to support HP’s device anymore. So what do you do with your TouchPad and its obsolete operating system? Upgrade it to Android, of course!
The team behind RootzWiki are developing an Android 2.3 Gingerbread port that will (hopefully) support HP’s TouchPad. They aim to keep the project “as open as possible,” and according to TechRadar, once they’ve completed the Android 2.3 build, their mission is to get to work on an Android 3.0 Honeycomb port — the operating system optimized for Android tablets.
Thomas Sohmers, one of the developers behind the project, posted the team’s plans to the RootzWiki forum:
- First [we are] going to build with Gingerbread and be AOSP based
- After we are able to successfully boot Android, we are going to move to a CM7 base
- Once we reach what we deem a “stable” beta, we will continue to provide bug fixes for Gingerbread build, but also begin working on a full Honeycomb port
- If ICS is released before or during our development of the Honeycomb port, we will stop and begin work on ICS. (Please be October…)
If you’re interested in the team’s developments, keep an eye on the RootzWiki forum where they will continue to report their progress. The team is open to donations via PayPal, which will be helpful if they end up bricking their development TouchPads, or in case they have to pull them apart and play around with their internals.
If you’re the (proud?) owner of an HP TouchPad, would you be interested in installing Android on it in the future? I’d like to preserve webOS, but I certainly won’t rule it out. What I’d love to see is the option to dual-boot both operating systems.