The Nexus 7 is Google’s flagship 7 inch tablet. It represents both the ideals behind the Android Open Source Project and the commitment to quality hardware we have come to expect from Google’s Nexus line of devices. Being on the forefront of the open source realm, it comes as no surprise that the device has seen a tremendous amount of development and modification. The device has seen ports and ROM’s of every type, from Ubuntu to Jelly Bean. The latest groundbreaking piece of software for the Nexus 7 has arrived in the form of an untethered (meaning no PC connection is required to boot and run the firmware) port of HP’s webOS.
webOS suffered an untimely demise when HP decided to axe the TouchPad, but it still lives thanks to a dedicated and enthusiastic community of users who strongly believe in it. XDA Senior Member noahk423 brought the Nexus 7 port to our attention via this post in our forums. It would appear that @webosports and the Open webOS crew have released the build to the public. While previous work in this field ran little risk, the older builds were barely functional alphas that required a steady PC connection (also known as a ‘tethered installation’). The newest alpha build, a modification of the Galaxy Nexus build, requires a PC to boot, but runs on its own after that. Additionally, hardware acceleration has not been fully realized, meaning there is still plenty of work to be done.
The main point of attraction for webOS fanatics is the user interface. Maybe soon Nexus 7 owners will be able to use it as a daily driver. With all the advancements in porting and building new ROMs for the Nexus 7, it stands to reason that webOS would make its way to the device. Who knows? Perhaps the next release of the port will be compatible with the Nexus 7 Multi-Boot we reported on a couple weeks ago. Keep your eyes on the Portal for more information!
December 7, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
While the majority of the development done here on XDA is software, our developers and members have also developed some pretty awesome hardware modifications. With projects that make the HTC HD2 look young again, there isn’t really a limit on what devs can do with hardware. Now, HP Touchpad users can build self-powered USB OTG right into the Touchpad.
XDA Recognized Contributor mpgrimm2 released the mod here to XDA. Be warned, it’s a tough one. As mpgrimm2 explains:
This is a difficult modification that requires you to completely disassemble Touchpad (correct tools a plus), cut and dremel out excess material from the back cover (risk of permanent damage) and display frame. You also need to have some soldering equipment plus skill with very small circuit boards/traces (if you want more than a full size power port) and loads of patience (this took several hours over 4-6 separate days).
So if you’re not in this for the long haul, don’t attempt it. There are quite a few steps, a few of which were described above. To put it simply, users will be installing a USB OTG port on their TouchPads. This includes cutting out pieces of the Touchpad itself to make room, a lot of soldering fun, creating a hole in the housing to put it, and everything in between.
Aside from being difficult, the only other known issues are that it could cause higher battery drain, since the battery is also powering the USB OTG, and the screen will be slightly lifted. There are also a lot of tools you’ll need to get started, but mpgrimm2 has a list of things you can get and websites where you can buy them.
If you’d like to check out this truly impressive tutorial, check out the original thread.
[Thanks to XDA Recognized Themer zanderman112 for the tip!]
August 6, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
At this point, it just wouldn’t feel like summer unless we spent a little time talking about Jelly Bean. With releases coming out for seemingly everyone at this point, the devices with ports almost outnumber devices without. As the march continues, two new devices have managed to get some Jelly Bean—one of which becomes the second device to get Jelly Bean that wasn’t released as an Android device. They are the HP Touchpad and the HTC Wildfire S.
For the HP Touchpad, the unofficial CyanogenMod 10 port was developed by XDA Forum Member jcsullins, but posted on XDA by XDA Senior Member BIGSimon. For the Wildfire S, XDA Recognized Contributor benjamingwynn posted the unofficial CyanogenMod 10 build with credited help from about 10 other members. As should be expected, both ROMs do have their issues. The Wildfire S port is in its preview stage, meaning that it’s just for testing and shouldn’t be used unless you’re willing to help with testing and development. Of course, the HP Touchpad isn’t too much better, as the number of issues far exceeds the number of features working. The HP Touchpad does have the disadvantage of not having run Android from the outset, but that hasn’t stopped the HTC HD2 developers either.
Even so, it’s a beginning and both ROMs are currently under active development. So users just need to exercise a little patience, and both of these ROMs mat soon be stable enough to use. For more info, check out either the HP Touchpad thread or the Wildfire S thread.
Development for the HP TouchPad has always been impressive, especially considering the degree to which it was a commercial flop. Despite being discontinued a number of times, the device still gets more than its fair share of development.
XDA Forum Member rohan32 has released a mod pack aimed at increasing everything from performance and battery life to even faster media streaming.
The feature list is pretty extensive and includes:
-wifi speed increases
-changed bluetooth name to “Touchpad”
-changed build id to “IML74K” so that it is compatible with the Chrome Beta
-increased quality of photos and videos
-added initial dalvik heapsize for better start up
-changed the wifi scan interval to 180 (save battery when not connected to wifi)
-kernel tweaks for less debugging/more RAM
-higher events per second for the window manager (smoother scrolling)
-overall performance boost and responsiveness increase with higher cache values
-disable sending usage data (not sure if functional but it was a property listed in the documentation)
-deeper sleep during the night hours for better battery life
-disables error checking
-faster media streaming
-changed device info to that of a SGH-T989 from Samsung so most Gameloft games are compatible to download the SD files
-270 degree rotation
-uses image dithering for faster performance
-keeps launcher in memory for faster launcher performance
-better battery management in terms of percentage and associated kernel actions
Installation of the mod is pretty simple and requires flashing in ClockworkMod Recovery. The mod has been tested for CyanogenMod 7.2, but could also work for other ROMs. Be sure to make a backup before installing, just in case.
Visit the original thread for additional information, download links, a full feature list and discussion.
February 23, 2012 By: egzthunder1
Ubuntu and the infamous HP Touchpad. For those of you around the HPT scene, you know that this is likely a comparable device to the HD2 in terms of flexibility. The device runs WebOS natively, Android (all the way to ICS thanks to the good people at the Cyanogen team), and as of October of last year, Ubuntu. At that time, the port was far from being something anyone would dare installing as it was, for the most part, completely useless. Today, while the port is still in alpha stage, it has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of capabilities and features. XDA member BodenM has done a great job in turning this project into a reality.
If you look through the short thread, you will find other devs helping with the project as well, such as XDA member CalcProgrammer1, who recently announced that he got BT properly working. Other recent feats include the usability of Wifi and a much more responsive touchscreen among several other features. Unfortunately, the road ahead is still long and there are things like sound which still require a lot of work. But it is a project worth following. If you know anything that could help in getting this off the ground, please chip in on the thread.
Follow the instructions carefully in order to get this to run on your Touchpad and remember, this is an alpha, so don’t complain if something doesn’t work right off the bat.
IF YOU DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW, BY INSTALLING THIS, YOUR WARRANTY IS PROBABLY VOID! I won’t be responsible if your TP bricks, needs doctoring, catches fire, skins adorable puppies and kittens, BBQs your “crown jewels”, eats your children, starts WW3, explodes or commits seppuku!
You can find more information in the original thread.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
Thanks Virus for the tip!
February 13, 2012 By: Ian Stacy
Since HP announced the release of the webOS source code, the recently abandoned operating system has grown a rather loyal following. Progress has been made in homebrew development and in custom builds for webOS native devices. Many forum members have been clamoring for a port of webOS to Android devices for several months now. Initial ports were expected to appear for the Motorola Droid or its GSM counterpart, the Milestone, since the devices share the same OMAP3 3430 processor with the Palm Pre (the very first native webOS device).
Recently an HTC EVO 3D was spotted running a build of webOS 3.0, the version that came with the notorious HP TouchPad. Originally posted by Ryan Hope (@_puffthemagic_) on Twitter, the 3 still images of webOS running have now been supplemented with a YouTube video that can be found here. While not functional enough for actual use, the operating system boots without issue. Ryan originally started work on the port before HP released the source code for webOS. With the release of both the Android kernel and the full webOS source porting progress can only move forward from here. Could this mean widespread availability of webOS ports on Android devices soon? Depending on interest level and developer involvement, it is a possibility!
You may remember that during the HP TouchPad fire sale, a few slates slipped out with a primitive Android Froyo build on them. Well, HP doesn’t seem to know how the tablets hit shelves with Android on board, but its decided to release the source code for the OS. Devs had previously called on the company to hand over the code, but the request was refused since HP had never intended for TouchPads to ship them with Android, so they didn´t were obligated to concede by the open-source requirements.
As a gesture of goodwill to the community, I would say more for a certain amount of pressure from it, Hewlett Packard webOS has reversed course and let the TouchPad specific kernel to appear on the Internet for Devs to play with making their lives easier when developing for that device.
You may remember our previous articles regarding the Touchpad, when it was on sale for a cheap price, then when we discussed about WebOS future and later on when the first Android ports arrived. Long before this announcement thanks to XDA Devs a lot of work has been done and you can even enjoy of a CyanogenMod on it.
Do you have a Touchpad?, if so would you install this kernel on it?, please leave your comments and thanks for reading.
Heres the source link if you are interested in testing it.
February 4, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
For those who are unfamiliar with DPI, it is short for “dots per inch” and is a measure of the resolution of the display on any given Android device. Modifying it can bring you higher, or lower, resolution to make your screen look better.
Enter LCD Density Modder. It’s an app that allows users to choose their own DPI, regardless of the number. This gives Touchpad owners the ability to make their resolution literally whatever they want it to be. Another feature of the app is that it modifies the market.apk to make it look like you’re using 120dpi no matter what. This effectively fixes Android Market in-discrepancies that are caused when modifying the DPI.
Unfortunately, you need the pro version of the app to reap all the benefits, but there is a free version for users to check out in the Android Market if they’re not ready to take the dive and buy the full version.
For anyone toting the Touchpad who wants to give it a go, you can find the link to the app as well as the instructions on how to use it in the original thread.
January 18, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
Despite the incorporation of tablet tweaks into CyanogenMod 7, the Android 2.3 Gingerbread-based ROM simply isn’t ideal for use with the larger and higher-resolution screens seen on tablets. That’s why deep down, we’ve all been pining for the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich goods to make their way to the HP TouchPad tablet for quite some time.
The long wait has now finally paid off, as device maintainer and XDA forum member dalingrin has now released an extremely Alpha build of the tablet-optimized and AOSP-built ROM. While the release is fully usable, the various missing features may preclude its use as a daily driver for certain users. Notably absent from this Alpha 0 build is OMX hardware video acceleration,which means that neither Netflix nor HD videos on YouTube will work.
In the words of the developer:
FORGET WHAT WORKS. WHAT *DOESN’T* WORK?
Yeah, let’s focus on the negative. Some (but not all) things that DO NOT WORK:
- Hardware Video (OMX). As a result, Netflix does not work, YouTube works only only in non-HD videos.
- Audio is a mess. The microphone does not work. Work on the current libaudio solution has halted because we will eventually switch to a CAF libaudio.
- Camera does not work. The only libcamera.so that we have is from froyo and its closed source. There is a wrapper for QCOM gingerbread libcamera libraries that could likely be used as a basis to get our camera working.
- Market filters prevent some apps from being installed (this can partly solved by switching back to standard DPI settings(120, 160, 240). The current build is using 160 which fixes the market but makes everything look ugly and low resolution.
- Titanium Backup crashes the kernel. There’s an investigation in progress…There are reports that older versions do work.
- Most of the hardware problems from CM7 still exist in this CM9 alpha build.
- Gapps intended for CM7/Gingerbread will not work in CM9/ICS. If you choose to install GAPPS then you’ll need to get an updated compilation
- USB file transfers use MTP or PTP in Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb. Traditional storage mounting is not supported in the Touchpad build.
Despite the rough edges, forum response has been overwhelmingly positive. If you’re looking to get in on the discussion or give the update a whirl on your own device, make your way over to the original thread! Those looking for a mirror of the links to the installation files can find one in this post.
At last glance, people who took advantage of the super awesome clearance sale of the HP Touchpad have the option of keeping WebOS on their tablets or throwing some CyanogenMod goodness on there.
Now, Touchpad owners have yet another option for their increasingly versatile tablets and that option is Arch Linux ARM. XDA Member crimsonredmk has released an alpha release of the popular operation system that’s HP Touchpad compatible. Being an alpha release, of course, means that there’s a few bugs and kinks that still need to be worked out, including:
So if you can live without a few things for the time being and this looks like something you would like to try out, you can find a full changelog, installation instructions, additional details and screenshots in the original thread found here. Also, as crimsonredmk says:
Read the README and make sure you understand what works and what does not.
So be sure to read all the documentation before attempting so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Not too shabby for a device that’s been discontinued multiple times. Sadly, they don’t sell these anymore so if this is the development you’ve been waiting on to buy one, you’re now stuck surfing eBay or Craigslist.