Can’t Wait for CyanogenMod for HP TouchPad? Try this. [video]

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6 Oct, 2011 7:45 am

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Looks like the concept of putting Android onto the HP TouchPad is quite a popular one. A YouTube video demonstrating “Chomper’s Chroid” has surfaced on PreCentral.

According to the YouTube video description, this demo is a “0.0.1″ version of the Chomper project, pre-pre-pre-alpha, it seems. If you watch the video below, you’ll see that there are some hiccups, and performance seems quite slow, but as the project has just started, it’s to be expected. The title of the video on YouTube implied that Android would run as an app, but this is not the case, at least right now. As seen in the video, Android takes over the Touchpad. You can’t exit out to webOS without hard resetting the device (holding down the power and home buttons).

YouTube Preview Image

A PreCentral commenter offered this up as his observations on how this Android on TouchPad hack works:

By ion_flux on Wed, 05 Oct 2011 12:40 am EDT

+3

Just took a quick look inside the IPK.
It seems to be running Android from a chroot( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroot ) environment. There a ‘system.img’ and uImage. The latter probably providing the ramfs with the basic root filesystem (and probably busybox) inside the chroot environment. The system.img gets mounted inside that, providing most of the shiny android bits. There might even be some key linux libraries/binaries/modules that android needs, which he may have had to recompile against the WebOs 3.0.x linux kernel. Interestingly there are a couple of Upstart services that run on the WebOs side ‘run_proxy’ & ‘input_proxy’. The latter was the first thing I saw, and made me fairly confident that it’s running chroot, not taking over the device from webos. If need an upstart service running in background to proxy user input to Android, then upstart is still running, and the webos kernel is still running. It looks as though it just shuts down Luna when Android is running. Whether the display hooks are achieve via SDL, or something engaging the linux framebuffer device directly, I can’t say.

I’d like to know how if he had to recompile the dalvik vm and the like. Perhaps someone who isn’t still waiting on HP S.M.B. store to ship their damn touchpad they ordered 6weeks ago can look into that.

Please forgive run-ons, and any spelling mistakes.

Cheers!

It’s encouraging in some aspects, to see how much interest there is in the HP TouchPad as a hacking platform. As I’ve said many times before, I’d prefer that users learn and use webOS, perhaps develop the apps that are lacking on the platform, but at least the TouchPad is getting used, and not just gathering dust somewhere, forgotten.

I’m still rooting for the CyanogenMod team’s version of running Android on the TouchPad because it will be a dual-boot solution, and it will actually be taking advantage of the TouchPad hardware, like using hardware acceleration for games and video playback (IIRC). Currently the Chomper’s Chroid project doesn’t seem to be aiming for the same native performance, though I guess it’s too early to tell. At any rate, those who are interested in Android on the TouchPad now have another project to monitor.

Via PreCentral


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