Can you take that cheapo TouchPad you just got for a c-note and slap another OS on it, perhaps one that shows no sign of dropping off anytime soon? Sure you can! Well, okay — maybe you can't, but when it comes to replacing WebOS with Android on those tablets, the guys at CyanogenMod can.
The team has brought the fantasy one step closer to reality, thanks to CyanogenMod 7 firmware. If you're not familiar with it, it's a popular piece of firmware based on the Android OS that offers people (who aren't afraid of hacking, that is) an alternative to the stock software. CyanogenMod 7 is built on Gingerbread (Android 2.3), and the version being used here is in the alpha stage (aka, super-duper early, pre-release phase).
This video was taken on Friday, and the team says progress has already been made since then, including support for logical volume manager (to handle storage), more work on 2D hardware acceleration (coming soon) and other tablet tweaks.
Eventually, the guys hope to enable multi-boot options, so users can pick the platform they want on start-up. Thing is, they're running into a supply situation: They need more devices to develop on. So if you're into this idea and know anyone who's not using their TouchPad, you can see if they're willing to help a hacker out.
Here's their statement:
Here is some (older) touchpad progress from Friday. The Cyanogenmod team wanted to share it with the public as a blatant publicity stunt to bring attention to our need for a few more touchpads (for developers currently working without them).
As you can see from this quick demo, we've been working hard and have made progress. Since this video was created last week, the build has been more "tabletized" (tablet tweaks added, etc.), lvm support has been added, and 2d hardware acceleration should appear very soon.
The touchscreen driver issue is now the focus of our attention.
Our ultimate vision is to create a *multiboot* solution where the end user will be able to boot into WebOS, Cyanogenmod, and/or other OSes. This appears to be very possible, and we have discussed several potential implementations with our new friends in the WebOS development community to make it easy for an end-user to set up.
For the moment though, we need about 4 tablets, as we have talented and experienced developers who cannot contribute effectively due to a lack of hardware. If you have an extra touchpad and are willing to help the cause, please let us know in the comments below.
A BIG CAVEAT– PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR ETAS. For the uninitiated, this is the #1 rule for Cyanogenmod. It will certainly be a long while before our goals become reality. Our goals incidentally are not connected with any bounty– we are motivated to do it right, not do it fast.
And now the obligatory shout outs– Thanks to rootzwiki and all the devs and everyone else who are collaborating and contributing to this project. You know who you are, you.
The CM team
PS- Yes, this is gingerbread (Android 2.3.5). Everything you see, except for bootie the bootloader (a great kid's show btw), was compiled from source.
The "bounty" they're referring to has to do with some communities, like HackNMod, incentivizing people to bring Android to the TouchPad. They're offering more than $2,000 for successful porting it over, with different awards for completing specific tasks. So if your "Tech Fu" is especially strong, you may want to take note. If not, then you can live vicariously by just hitting play on the short vid.