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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Cash prizes offered for first to put Android on a TouchPad, hackers claiming it's coming soon



android_on_touchpad-5209649.jpgAs HP TouchPad mania continues, two hacker site have offered cash and prizes to the first person who gets Android on the webOS tablet that yesterday surfaced as the #1 seller on is now offering $950 for a basic Android port to the TouchPad and incentives for additional features like WiFi support, multi-touch and use of the camera that drive the total amount offered to $2075. Sponsors are putting up the money and the total amount keeps rising.

Teams of developers and hackers have formed with a goal of being the first to convert the once abandoned and now adored tablet to Android glory. One team named TouchDroid has plans to bring Android 2.3 gingerbread to the TouchPad and they have a wiki for the project with this as their opening statement:

"So you've plunked down your $99/$149, and you're staring at that WebOS screen...Welcome to a grand effort to port Android to the HP TouchPad."

The TouchPad is now so popular that scores of people all over the world are still tweeting about trying to find one. The hype on this is so big that someone named AndroidGuy31 has posted a video on YouTube (below) stating that he will publish a how-to video tomorrow (8/24/11) showing everyone how to make the now $99 TouchPad into an Android gingerbread tablet. Check out the drama!

Another video surfaced yesterday that shows someone unboxing a new TouchPad. When they boot it up for what they say is the first time, it looks like it's already running Android. They claim they bought it at BestBuy and Android was installed when they bought it. Is it a fake? It's hard to tell. Watch as they use the touchscreen to go through various pages and menus. Looks pretty real to me! Although it could be a quickly-built combination of an existing Android tablet and the frame of a TouchPad. If it is a fake they did a good job with it. If it isn't a fake, the plot thickens...

Last night and this morning I spent about four hours with one of the TouchPads I bought and I have to say I'm impressed with it. I made some tweaks to the operating system to make it a little snappier but honestly it was pretty nice right out of the box. The web browser is outstanding and the Facebook app is the best I've seen for a tablet. You can't buy a color ebook reader $99 and the TouchPad is so much more than that. Yes, the apps are limited and now there probably won't many new ones, but so what? Just using it as an ebook reader, movie player and web browser makes it worth $100.

I'll have a full report on what I did to the TouchPad with some information on the best apps I've found for it, soon.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 5:02pm]


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