The indomitable HP TouchPad is making news again, for several reasons.
For one thing, the discontinued tablet showed up as having more downloads of USAToday’s app than Android tablets. GeekWire published an image from a USAToday presentation they mysteriously got their hands on. Unfortunately, it’s not dated. But we can make some guesses based on what tablets are listed on the image, such as the Kindle Fire, which began shipping November 14, 2011.
The image shows that the USAToday app designed for the iPad was downloaded more than any of their other apps – 2.9 million+ times. Coming in second was the Kindle Fire, with 260,000 downloaded. Then came the app designed for the ‘WebOS tablet’ (HP TouchPad is the only one of those around) with 250,000 downloads. Followed by the app designed for Android tablets, with 130,000.
That shows a huge advantage for the iPad, which would be expected. The surprise, assuming GeekWire’s image is accurate, is the strength of the HP TouchPad, which HP gave up on and sold away in a firesale back on August 20, 2011.
The other HP TouchPad headline involves development of Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for the TouchPad. CyanogenMod has been working a way to port an Android OS onto the TouchPad. The goal is to have a dual bootable tablet which can use both WebOS and Android. Many of us are looking forward to this so we can access the Android Market for apps.
CyanogenMod has now released alpha 0.6. It’s far from a finished product. There’s no camera, and no video acceleration, among quite a few other things. But an unofficial ROM now pushes nightly updates to the tablet. Though unofficial, CyanogenMod developer Erik Hardesty is recommends it, as he said he won’t be releasing any more alphas unless there’s something very particular to update.