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Posts Tagged: HP Touchpad

MIUI for the HP Touchpad

December 16, 2011   By:

shot_000018

With the recent announcement of webOS’s impending transition to an open source license, some of us may have temporarily forgotten about our favorite little green robot. Rest assured, however, that some does not necessarily mean all.

Thanks to hard work by XDA Senior Member scott951, adventurous TouchPad owners can now experience a taste of MIUI-flavored Gingerbread on their tablets. Unlike previous Android ports to the tablet, which have mainly centered around CyanogenMod and its derivatives, this MIUI infusion results in quite a favorable tablet experience.

 Working:

  • Audio/Sound
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Touchscreen
  • Charging
  • All sensors
  • Wired earphone/headphone
  • Gallery
  • YouTube
  • MIUI Backup (don’t backup contacts)
  • Multi-Touch
  • MIUI Themes

Not Working:

  • No On-Screen Menu (working on it)
  • Other Random Bugs

Stability and functionality seems to be excellent for an alpha ROM. As such, this ROM is scheduled to shed its alpha status quite soon.

TouchPad owners wishing to get in on the action should proceed to the ROM thread.

saveface

The last time we talked about HP, I presented more evidence that the four known Touchpad devices purchased running Android 2.2 came directly from HP’s production line.  Since then, Green, a kernel developer for the Cyanogenmod Touchpad team, was busy working with Ben Maskell of the law firm Roetzel & Andress.  Ben Maskell contacted us with a copy of the letter sent Monday, 8 November to HP’s Open Source Program Director, Philip Robb.  I produce the CliffNotes version here, but I encourage you to read the full letter.

… We request that Hewlett Packard provide Mr. Drokin with a copy of the source code for the Android operating system that came factory-installed on a number of HP TouchPads.

Mr. Drokin is… the author of many copyrighted contributions which have been integrated into the Linux / Android kernel and licensed version 2 of the General Public License (“GPL”)…

We have recently become aware that Hewlett Packard has utilized Mr. Drokin’s code in a version of the Android operating system which was custom tailored for the HP Touchpad…

… Hewlett Packard’s use of the Linux kernel and Mr. Drokin’s code was subject to the license requirements set forth in the GPL… It is apparent Hewlett Packard has modified and publically distributed the Linux Kernel under the license granted in GPL § 2. Therefore, Hewlett Packard has a legal duty to release this source code at least under GPL § 3…

We are fully prepared to enforce Mr. Drokin’s rights. However, to avoid unnecessary costs to both parties, we kindly request that Hewlett Packard voluntary release the requested source code. We request your timely response to this letter, but in any event, no later than Wednesday, November 23, 2011…

So mark that date on your calendar. I emailed Ben Maskell to find out more.  In specific, as I asked in my previous article, I wanted to hear the legal argument that establishes four Touchpads as distribution, and asked if there were any legal precedents they planned to rely upon.  He told me it’s a little early in the process to go digging through case histories and at this point they only refer to the plain language of the GPL.  To clarify:

HP has used the code, and they are therefore bound by the terms.  See section 5.  Under sections 1 and 2 of the license, HP is generally allowed to modify, adapt, distribute, and copy Mr. Drokin’s code so long as they also comply with section 3.  Section 3 provides that any copies or distributions are accompanied by the source (3a) or a written offer to provide the source (3b).  HP has not complied with section 3 and is therefore in violation of the GPL.

We hope that HP will respond to our letter and that the parties reach an out-of-court resolution to this matter.

We hope so, too.  HP’s track-record is one of denial, flippancy, and silence, and it’s unfortunate that things have come this far to see simple rights respected.

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Bye Bye TouchPads

November 1, 2011   By:

touchpad

Well, if you are bashing yourself on the head for not taking advantage of HP’s fire sale of webOS Touchpads and was waiting for a second one, you’re maybe out of luck. According to a tip that we got from XDA member joshman99, the tablet from HP is no longer in production. In fact, HP sent out an e-mail to customers and retailers where it claims that it no longer has stock of this device and that whatever is left in the stores will be the last ones to be sold. Now, there are really no implications for HP on this as they were trying to penetrate the market with a tab carrying an OS, which ranks anywhere between fourth and fifth in terms of overall usage by the consumer base. This actually has got me thinking a bit as for the real reason behind stopping production and other underlying issues behind the Touchpad.

The first thing that came to mind when I read this was that HP was just trying to recover their loses on a product that was badly overpriced from the start. After the success of the “fire sale,” as it was deemed by blogs across the web, it was rumored that HP would launch a second fire sale, which they did but is exclusive to Best Buy in the US and has the limitation that a computer must be purchased as well to get the special discount on the pad. So, based on this move it was definitely not their original intent.

After giving it some thought, I remembered that about a month ago, we found out that HP was breaking GPL by distributing some of these tabs loaded with Android and not sharing the kernel. It was later found out that the pads are tested with Android and apparently, webOS was not installed by QC pre-shipment. It is possible that the pad got into a bad reputation trend and possible legal trouble because of this, and as such, HP decided to pull the plug on this idea altogether.

My final idea (and the one to be most likely, at least in my mind) is that HP analyzed the response on the fire sale and the underlying reasons for the success of the event. While the “oomph for the buck” factor was definitely a major push ($99 for a 16GB tab and $149 for a 32 GB one), I do believe that they had to realize that the bulk of their sales spiked when the possibility of Android running on this became public knowledge. So, thinking back on the project, they had to realize that including Android on the tab would make much more sense (commercially) than shipping with something that most people don’t use/will replace the moment they get it. You also have to remember that, due to flashing, the possibility of warranty exchanges was going to be high and that would definitely eat into the margins after short. Long story short, it is my own opinion that an Android version of this tab will hit the market soon and that is why they are retiring the webOS one.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that the HP Tab is completely dead or that it will rise from its ashes in the form of an Android enabled device? Please share your thoughts.

Dear Valued Customer,

Making sure customers have a positive experience when they purchase our products is a priority for us. In some cases, limited inventory makes it challenging to fulfill all customer orders. As you signed up for updates on the HP TouchPad, we wanted you to know that we are officially out of stock. Some retailers will have some stock available, but our online inventory is depleted.

Thank you for your interest in this product and the feedback you provided. Your input plays a critical role in defining our product roadmap and will help us continue to bring innovative products to market.

Sincerely,
HP

You can find more information in the original article.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

Thanks  joshman99 for the tip!

cm7_touchpad

Today is turning out to be a rollercoaster of news for the HP Touchpad.  Shortly after last night’s article on how HP installed Android on every Touchpad in order to load the component manufacturers’ drivers for testing hardware, the Cyanogenmod Touchpad team announced the first public release of their CM7 alpha.  It was over a month ago that the CM Touchpad team posted footage of Android’s first boot on the Touchpad.  The result came at a price of hundreds of hours of volunteered time and tireless effort on the part of the CM developers, and we have nothing but gratitude for everything they did.

As the very first public build, the laundry list of bugs and non-working features is so long, it actually does include your socks.  If you choose to try it out, be extremely careful to read and fully understand every last word of their disclaimer, Q&A, and instructions in the mirrored thread from RootzWiki.

Next in the lineup of today’s Touchpad news, a fourth Touchpad bearing Android 2.2 turned up today.  There were previously only three known devices.  One was bought at a Best Buy in Texas, one was bought at a Best Buy in Oklahoma, and the third was bought at a Wal-Mart in New Hampshire.  Not much is known about this fourth device.  What we know is that it was purchased in Germany, and not just a Touchpad running the CM7 alpha, dressed to look like the others.  First, we see the Qualcomm boot animation in the video, just like on the three other Touchpads.  It’s speculated that Qualcomm designed this version of Android, as the manufacturer of the processor on the Touchpad.  The second reason we know this isn’t a fake is it’s running Froyo, whereas CM7–yes, even in it’s early alpha state–is Gingerbread.

Author’s note:  And ain’t that just my luck?  In the middle of writing about it, the video was privated.  Check back here for updates, I’ll post a mirror if I can find it.

Update 14 Oct. 2011:  The video is back up, but unlisted so that only those with a link can view it.  As a precaution, the video is mirrored here.  Also, the owner had this to say:

I bought the touchpad on 22nd of august at a store called Saturn in Munich. It is a major reseller in germany, like best buy. There is a so called “HP PN” number on the receipt and it matches with the one on the touchpad. Then on the package there is a sticker with the “HP PN” and the serial number. Both match with the ones on the touchpad. The receipt has got a signature of the clerk on it.

Last thing to round up all the Touchpad news so far today, trsohmers followed up last night’s article by posting the leaked Cypress Semiconductors drivers for the first time to the public, here on XDA-Developers.  A note from trsohmers:

These drivers CAN NOT BE INSTALLED! These drivers were also NOT used by the Cyanogen Team for porting purposes as by using these drivers, you would not be able to use webOS. I am only posting these drivers as evidence, and for research/educational purposes, and it is in the DEVELOPMENT category as such.

If you have any news tips, please contact me or any Portal News Writer.

 

HP’s Big Mistake

October 13, 2011   By:

hpandroid

Rumors are flying about HP and their potential GPL violation by not releasing the source code of the Android kernel sold on three Touchpads so far.  Many of them are speculation, much of it over-hyped, but the fact that we speculate points to how many questions go unanswered and how much interest there is in the matter.

A short history for people just tuning in on the issue:  In HP’s Touchpad firesale, three known devices shipped with Android 2.2.  Because the Android kernels and drivers are protected by the GPL version 2, all distributed modifications to the source code must be published if they mass distribute, intended to distribute, or publicly release the device.  HP did not publish their Android kernel modifications, and therefore may be violating the GPL.

There are a few reasons we can’t say they are definitely violating the GPL.  First, leaks don’t count as mass distribution, or as intent to distribute.  This is why, when a few users approached HP about the GPL violation, HP responded, “HP Palm doesn’t support Android and has not authorized anyone to provide consumers with the Android OS for Touchpad.”  Saying there is no intent to distribute is not enough to stave obligations to the general public.  Yet, it’s only 3 devices.  Not only does that not qualify as mass distribution, but it’s such an insignificant number of Android Touchpads that HP has plausible deniability on their side, and obviously imply it’s a leak in their response.  It all depends on why Android was installed those three devices, who installed it–in other words, whether HP is responsible–and whether the truth of the matter qualifies according to GPL definitions.

As far as most people understand it, HP developers were either bored or testing.  They rushed those Touchpads out the door with all the others in the firesale and did not install WebOS.  If the developers were bored, it’s a leak.  Their actions were in no way sanctioned by HP.  If the developers were testing for HP, it’s still a leak because the release was unintentional, but they may be liable.  HP did not deny that they sanctioned the actions of their developers, only that they did not sanction the distribution of that work.  People have to pay for their mistakes too, not just what they intend to do.

Trsohmers, formerly of the TouchDroid team, came to me with a different version of the story.  He says that HP used Android’s Linux foundation in the factory to test for faulty devices.  This isn’t simply speculation.  According to Green, who works with kernels for the CyanogenMod Touchpad team and posts their Touchpad videos on his YouTube channel, the team received an anonymous email that included a state-of-the-art Cypress Semiconductors touchscreen driver and a censored email.  The drivers are hyper-accurate and used to test device limits, so the CM team couldn’t use them.  However, their quality make Cypress Semiconductors undeniably the manufacturer, and the fact that they aren’t something just anyone could have lends credibility to the email.  That is, the driver came from an inside source, and so, therefore, must the email.  The email said this (grammatical errors are original):

In fact before HP refreshing their webOS image, all HP touchpad TSP controller board were used Android to run the MFG procedure. Attached file is the latest TMA395 Android driver. The significant difference is that the HP touchpad TSP controller firmware has no bootloader support so when you want to bring up the device with this driver a little effort need be cost take care of this difference. This job has been done by HP software team before.

The email says it’s not just a sample of devices from each batch, but every Touchpad is loaded with Android in the manufacturing process.  If true, the fact that HP used Android to install WebOS is not a violation of the GPL.  Using GPL-protected code for private use is perfectly legal.  The significance is in the degree to which HP sanctioned the development of Android on the Touchpad.  Still the same rules, three devices is more of a leak than anything, but now HP cannot deny that the sale of the Android Touchpads was their mistake.

Moreover, because you don’t need a license to use Android the way HP did, it’s highly unlikely that they got Android relicensed by Google.  This is further supported by the fact that they didn’t include it in their defense against the public demand for their Android kernel modifications.  So the good news for the general public is that if HP’s mistake can qualify as a GPL violation, it’s extremely unlikely that they have a license to disqualify the violation.

This leaves only a couple steps until HP may be taken to court.  Someone needs to make it legally clear that HP distributed or made public their Android build for the Touchpad, according to the GPL.  We know they distributed them–two were bought at Best Buys in Oklahoma and Texas, and the third was bought from Wal-Mart in New Hampshire.  Whether or not this counts as distribution according to the GPL is what needs legal arguing.

If you have any information to clarify or fill in the blanks of the story, please contact me, or any other news writer.  We respect wishes to remain anonymous.

gpl

There were tons of mixed emotions when HP returned to the mobile scene with their latest installment by their newly acquired partner in crime, Palm. The HP Touchpad, which comes loaded with webOS may appeal to some people due to certain features such as the $99 price tag that it came with. However, the biggest reason to try and get one of these was the fact that devs world wide decided to join efforts and get rid of webOS and slap Android on top of the slate device. The project seems to be progressing rather well, so well in fact that it seems that some Touchpads have begun shipping to customers loaded with Android. According to a link provided to us by XDA Senior Moderator pulser_g2, the few Touchpads that did ship out with Android, did so with a modified Linux kernel, with changes that are not documented or recorded anywhere. Now, if you are new to Android this will likely mean little to you, but the thing is that Android is governed under several regulations that ensures that the open source project stays open and transparent for anyone who would like to become part of it. By not disclosing full kernel sources, HP has broken GPL (General Public Licensing), which is the part that governs the kernels (not the Android OS but the kernels).

HP’s comments are that the devices are supposed to ship with webOS, but several people have already reported receiving devices loaded with Android. Now, in case you are wondering, HP stating that their devices should only ship with webOS means that they do have Linux kernels floating around but they simply will not admit it. One thing that I personally found funny in the original article, for which you can find a link in the bottom of this article, is how the people from HPalm not only claim that this shouldn’t be loaded with Android but also went as far as reminding/threatening the person getting in touch with them regarding this that if he did load Android in his TP, he would void the warranty. Was that absolutely necessary, HP? The community is coming at you with a concern on a matter that can be easily fixed without involving anyone in a legal department, yet your official response to whomever wrote to you letting you know that you made a mistake is “get out of here”.  Believe me when I tell you that we are all well aware of the possible implications that involve flashing a device and we are also aware that our warranties fly out the window when we do. So, instead of shielding yourselves behind meaningless threats to us, why don’t you do something more productive with your e-mail to your customers like asking for a Serial Number so that you can verify what shipped and most importantly with what.

I will let you go with a small reminder. Other manufacturers before you have made mistakes in the past as well in their devices. Most of them realized that aside from the general public, we (developer sites) are the ones that have taken the mobile industry to what it is today. We would likely all be using iPhones right now if it would have been otherwise. I suggest that you listen to your customers, particularly if they are devs when they come at you with potential really serious mistakes like this one. You have been warned about this and now it is your turn to take some action.

HP distributed modified Linux kernel as part of the Android that shipped on at 
least three units (location is known, users requested the source from HP - confirmed). 
This is a clear GPL violation on HP part, so hopefully we can pursue on this.

You can find more information here.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

Thanks pulser_g2 for the tip!

multitouch-gesture-on-iphone-ipad-and-ipod

You may remember a little less than a month ago that the HP Touchpad went on a massive sale world wide. It is loaded with WebOS but at a very attractive $99 to $150 a piece, or I should say it was loaded with WebOS. Yesterday, we got a tip from XDA Senior moderator pulser_g2 that not only did TouchDroid team get multitouch working on the pad, which was based on the original incomplete work on a single-touch driver which was developed by jonpry and green– at Cyanogenmod, but also that it was running the latest iteration of Gingerbread… 2.3.5. The port is still being worked on and there is no release out there yet or ETA, but they did post a video of the device running a rather smooth port of the OS. In this video, the team also showed the device being capable of recognizing multiple touch points.. up to 10. Android devices seem to share several hardware components with this pad, so finishing the port should simply be a matter of time once everything is put in place and all the trees that contain useful bits are lumped together.

Again, keep in mind that the port is in initial stages and it has not even been officially released by the team. However, for you lucky owners of this device, you will likely be getting an early Christmas gift.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

Thanks pulser_g2 for the tip!

hp-touchpad-news1

Amazingly enough, the HP Touchpad seems to be among the best selling pads in the mobile world. If you think about it, getting a dual core pad with 16 GB of storage for about US$100 (about 4 times cheaper than the iPad), would definitely be enough incentive to get it even if you don’t need or want it. Because of this move by HP, developers all over the world have their hands on at least one (or are about to), and are all working towards making this device reach its true potential. XDA member amirborna seems to be in this same boat as he has posted a way to overclock the tab’s processors (both of them) to 1.9 GHz. The only caveat is that at such speeds, the device becomes a bit unstable. However, it can still be safely overclocked to 1.7 GHz (on both cores as well) and have 0 issues in the process. According to the dev, the device becomes far more responsive than with stock clock values, more fluid, and best of all, it does not affect the battery due to the small difference in voltage requirements at the higher frequency values.

The guide is very concise and it is rather simple to follow. However, as with every overclocking process, there is always risk involved. Please ensure that you read the whole guide and leave some feedback for the dev.

Overclocking your HP Touchpad

  • Relatively safe to do
  • No noticeable effect on battery (stock usually pulls 550mah and 1.5ghz is pulling like 565mah.
  • Touchpad becomes incredibly fast, fluid, responsive, and is a joy to use
  • No heat created
  • Overclocks both cores
  • Feels like you have next generation hardware after the overclock
  • Smooth like butter

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

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