Checkpoint: HP TouchPad & Ice Cream Sandwich Edition

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checkpoint-hp-touchpad-android-4-0-edition

I wasn’t sure what to write about today until I picked up my brother’s HP TouchPad that I recently installed Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on. It’s amazing what competent software could do. If I had known this was the potential for the HP TouchPad, I would have picked one up at $100 last year.

Maybe not because it would sit unused once I got my iPad 3, but that’s not the point. Ice Cream Sandwich (CyanogenMod 9) — even in its early state — is a night and day difference from Gingerbread (CyanogenMod 7) which was also a night and day difference compared to WebOS. Just under six months after HP left it for dead, this device is finally living up to its hardware potential.

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More HP TouchPad & Android Impressions

posted in: Gadget Impressions | 0

hp-logoThe Android on HP TouchPad experiment continues from mid-October.

I haven’t done much other than web browsing via Dolphin HD. The web browsing is competent for simple sites, but more complex ones like GiantBomb and Tested don’t seem to load properly in landscape mode — it’s a really weird problem.

Since the last post there have been several alpha releases of Cyanogenmod 7 to address various problems including the wi-fi not coming back after sleep and other little quirks. I can honestly say it’s a stable tablet now.

We still haven’t gone into great lengths to customize the hell out of the interface because of Ice Cream Sandwich. In fact, the only real customizations we’ve done was to skin it to look like Google’s latest Android release.

I’ve tried a few games, but none of them appear to render natively for tablet devices. I haven’t determined if it was an app or Cyanogenmod on HP Touch Pad problem, but to be perfectly honest: there’s not much to get excited over on the Android Marketplace.

Android on HP TouchPad First Impressions

posted in: Gadget Impressions | 0

hp-logoThese are the phases of owning an HP TouchPad with WebOS:

  1. Awesome device for just $150!
  2. This device isn’t so bad.
  3. Okay. There are a few issues with performance, but it’s tolerable
  4. Argh. This thing is an inconsistent P.O.S. No wonder nobody bought it!

The one shining beacon of hope was an Android port. The HP TouchPad hardware solid. It’s a dual core 1.2 GHz device with 1GB of RAM. That’s plenty of power for Android, right?

Things are working surprisingly well based on the early alpha Cyanogen Mod 7.1 for the HP TouchPad. It may be Android 2.3 Gingerbread and it may be an alpha, but I’m enjoying using it a lot more than the Touchpad outside of one key area: multitasking.

The card system is the one innovation that WebOS has over its competitors. It enabled seamless application switching and management with nothing more than a few finger swipes.

But I’m willing to bet that gripe could be addressed with an app of some kind. With access to the Android Marketplace and the customizability of Android, almost anything is possible. If only this was more than an alpha release, then I would get into mucking around with it some more.

As promising as things seem with Cyanogen Mod 7.1, Cyanogen 9 and the release of Ice Cream Sandwich is what everyone is waiting for. I can’t wait for that release and its tablet centric features.

Finally, the HP Touchpad has some real promise ahead of it.