MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Developers attempting to port the latest version of Android to Hewlett Packard’s discontinued TouchPad tablet appear to have made a breakthrough, with one team member posting a photo of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on his personal device.
After HP announced the discontinuation of the tablet this summer, the firm sold off its remaining stock in a fire sale which saw prices reduced to $99, prompting many a tinkerer to buy a tablet with the hopes of converting it into a cheap Android device.
Results have been buggy and mixed, but thus far, hackers have managed to get CyanogenMod 7 Alphas one through three up and running on the TouchPad, despite several ongoing issues with audio and Wi-Fi.
The latest version, which attempts to port Android 4.0 to the tablet, is not yet as stable as previous Alpha builds, but is already generating excitement and interest on tech forums.
A patch for making touch input work on the tablet has already been proffered by the community, with the next priorities for the build including Wi-Fi and Android Market support.
While developers scramble to fix the bugs in the TouchPad Android builds, however, today’s announcement by HP that it would be open sourcing its WebOS software
has led to a surprise reverse phenomenon of developers now hoping to port the operating system to Android devices.
Despite its innovative UI and multitasking capabilities, WebOS had previously failed to capture the attention of the mobile industry, making up just 2% of U.S. smartphone market share. Putting it out into the open, however, seems to already be generating interest and giving traction to the software.
HP has not yet said when the WebOS code will be made available, but hackers over on XDA forums are already making plans for projects to port it to numerous devices, including the upcoming Galaxy Nexus.
“Now that the source code is set to be released, the real fun can begin,” said a post on XDA. “Imagine an HTC HD2 capable of running 6 mobile OSes. With full access to the WebOS source code, developers can now make this happen,” the post said.
Some are even starting to conceptualize a completely tailor made OS, with complete, source-built modification like CyanogenMod. With WebOS now open, it would appear the possibilities are endless.