There’s more than a million HP TouchPad tablets out in the world, but essentially they’re all dead-end devices. HP open-sourced the webOS operating system so it lives on, however, no current webOS hardware, such as the TouchPad, supports it. Thanks to the Android development community, there’s a build of Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean, for this hardware that otherwise has no future.
Enthusiast site Liliputing took the plunge by installing the CyanogenMod 10 software on a TouchPad and I’ll be doing the same as a future weekend project. Why would I wait? Well, this is still a work in progress and there are key functions not yet working: no microphone, camera or audio yet, and the graphics aren’t quite right, so no online video support yet.
Here’s a look at what does work, which might be enough for some to take the early plunge.
Based on the video, I’d say Google’s “Project Butter” to improve performance is working as advertised. I already knew this from my use of Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, but the TouchPad is older hardware. You’d never know it from the demonstration, though.
Some TouchPad owners will surely pass on this early Jelly Bean build, but I still think it’s worth keeping an eye on if you own the tablet. The Android community typically doesn’t back down from the challenge of getting Google’s mobile platform working on various devices. I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops since my TouchPad essentially sits on its wireless charger acting as a full-time clock and part-time web browser in our kitchen.