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TouchDroid project looks to fit HP TouchPad with Android

August 23, 2011 |  9:19 am

Screen Shot 2011-08-23 at 8.59.31 AM

It seems that at least a small number of the thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of new HP TouchPad owners who picked up the tablet for as little as $99.99 over the weekend aren't quite satisfied with their purchase.

Some are worried about whether or not more webOS apps are on the way for their new TouchPads. Meanwhile, for others a stock TouchPad just won't cut it and they're looking to dump webOS in favor of Android.

Enter Touchdroid. A group of hackers and developers on the Web forum RootzWiki have launched a project aimed at finding a way to sandwich Google's Android operating system into an HP TouchPad.

The Touchdroid team is also making use of a Facebook page dedicated to tracking progress made by those looking to retrofit Android to the TouchPad, as well as serving as a place where TouchPad owners can sound off on what they want out of a Touchdroid conversion.

While webOS is a slick and intuitive operating system in its own right, it isn't too difficult to see why someone would want to go from a TouchPad to a Touchdroid.

There still aren't a lot of apps out there for the TouchPad in HP's webOS App Catalog. There aren't a lot of great native app options for the popular services such as Twitter, video streaming from Netflix or Hulu, or a decent selection of games and eReading choices.

The TouchPad does have a fantastic Facebook app, but that's an app that HP built, and with webOS' future in question after HP said it will no longer make webOS phones or tablets, and with no other hardware company yet (possibly ever) committed to building new webOS devices, it is highly unlikely as of now that HP will build more webOS apps itself.

WebOS app makers are being courted by Microsoft to develop for Windows Phone 7 and others are considering heading to iOS or Android where the bulk of mobile users are.

The Touchdroid project is just getting started and who knows if it will work out or fizzle out, but the goal as outlined on RootzWiki is to get a modified version of Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread, running on the TouchPad -- which would offer TouchPad users a much bigger app selection and ideally, an OS with a more stable future.

So for the TouchPad owners out there, what do you all think of this idea? Are you ready to turn your TouchPad into a Touchdroid just as soon as these guys figure it out? Are you sticking with webOS and hoping the future is bright for the underdog? Let us know in the comments.


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 -- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photo: A Hewlett-Packard TouchPad tablet running apps on its webOS operating system. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh/Los Angeles Times