I expect you’ve heard about the HP TouchPad, a tablet running webOS that was heavily discounted (to just $100) shortly after it was released a few months ago.
The main problem with the TouchPad was that it didn’t support the latest apps, since app developers are not excited to develop apps for webOS as is not available on many devices. In October we reported that Android would soon hit the TouchPad, and now it has. Read on to find out how to install it.
This is not an official Android build for the TouchPad, it’s a version of CyanogenMod – meaning it offers even more features than the official build. The current version of CyanogenMod for HP TouchPad is Alpha 3.5, which is based on Android 2.3.7: Gingerbread. (No, not the tablet-optimised Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich.)
As the number suggests, this isn’t the first alpha build, but offers lots of improvements and bug fixes over those that came before it. In particular, you will be able to enjoy the 3D games on your TouchPad with improved speed, translating to a better and smoother gaming experience. Video Playback has also been improved, so you can enjoy watching movies or even just videos that you’ve shot yourself.
You should be aware that installing this ROM will void your warranty, and that there will be some bugs. However, this is a dual-boot system, so if you ever want to load webOS again, you can do that.
Here is a list of files that you’ll need to obtain using the respective links given.
- Palm Novacom (Download for Windows, Linux or Mac)
- MoBoot (Download)
- Cyanogenmod 7.1.0 Alpha 3 (Download)
- Clockworkmod Recovery (Download)
- ACMEInstaller (Download)
Download all of the above files to your computer. Some of the links point to the forum thread, so you need to find the specific file yourself from the list of downloadable files. Once it’s done, follow the procedure given below.
Let’s Get Started
These instructions mainly assume you are running Windows, but if you are familiar with the command line you can follow them on Linux or OSX, too.
- Start up your HP TouchPad, obviously, in webOS. Then, connect it to your PC via the USB cable and from the TouchPad Menu, select the USB Drive mode to allow file sharing between PC and the TouchPad.
- On your PC, you will be able to see a new drive mounted under My Computer (or just Computer, in Windows 7). Open it and create a new folder called cminstall. Transfer the Cyanogenmod, Clockworkmod Recovery, and MoBoot files to this folder.
- It is recommended that you have at least 2GB of free space in your TouchPad to avoid any problems during the process. When the file transfer completes, just eject the USB cable from your PC.
- We will now install the Bootloader on the TouchPad. First, press and hold the Power button and select Shut Down. It will turn off the device.
- Now, turn on your TouchPad and quickly press the Volume Up button. It should show you a USB symbol on your screen; if not, shut it down and try again.
- From the files that you have downloaded, extract ACMEInstaller.zip to the folder where you installed Palm Novacom. On Windows, this should be
C:\Program Files\Palm, IncMac and Linux would have different paths.
- Now, you need to open the command prompt, and switch to the Novacom folder. In Windows, you can do this by navigating to the aforementioned folder, holding the Shift button and right-clicking anywhere on blank area, then choosing Open command window here from the context menu that appears.
- Run the following command in the Command Window:
novacom.exe boot mem:// < ACMEInstaller
- The flashing of CyanogenMod to the TouchPad has begun; in just a few seconds, your TouchPad will reboot and – voila – you will see a Linux-style boot screen. A list of files that are loading will appear and, once it finishes, you will have a tablet that is running on the Android OS. Yep, we did it, we successfully installed Android on the HP TouchPad.
Your HP TouchPad is now running the Android OS, thus having all the advantages of this great OS. As I said earlier, we have not actually removed webOS; instead, we have added a new OS alongside it. You can boot up in webOS at any time by choosing boot webOS from the recovery menu.
I hope you guys enjoy having Android on your TouchPad. If you have any question about this, please leave it in the comments section. We will be glad to help you out.