Just Monday we saw an extremely early version of Android living happily with WebOS on the same HP TouchPad, but the developers hadn’t released the necessary files to try it out yourself. Rejoice, cheap tablet modders: the indefatigable denizens of XDA-Developers have done it again. You can now download and install an alpha version of the WebOS Android installer, keeping your TouchPad’s core software intact.
The process isn’t for the faint of heart. In order to install the app you need to use the community-authored tool Preware, sort of an alternative app store with a selection of tools and tweaks. Even when you get Android up and running, it’s still in the extreme early stages. Limitations include almost no usable storage, no Google apps or Android Market, and the only available language is Chinese, so brush up on your Mandarin before downloading. The developers say that the wrinkles will be ironed out in future released, even allowing android to run as a “card” in the unique WebOS interface.
For those who are familiar with the Preware system, the install is relatively easy. You can download or remove the entire 80MB installation at your leisure, and a simple button combination returns you to the TouchPad’s WebOS immediately. Adventurous users, go ahead and give it a try, but those of you who want a smoother experience might want to wait a few weeks at least. And keep in mind that CyanogenMod’s Gingerbread version is coming some time in the future.