HP releases Touchpad Android kernel, even though it doesn’t exist

Touchpad Kernel - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I wasn’t planning on writing this article because frankly it’s not really a big deal. Then I read a bunch of other sites that have tagline’s that state “hackers & developers now licking their chops” or “tinkerers rejoice.” In the articles they usually state that this is a really big deal for the CyanogenMod team, and that it will solve all the problems that are happening on the Touchpad. This is simply not true. There really isn’t a whole lot in the kernel code that the CM team will be able, or want, to use. Maybe if it was released back in August or September when CM was just starting to work on their port it might have been more helpful.

You see the last time that the kernel was worked on by someone at HP was March 2011. This was before the Touchpad was even released, and seems to suggest that HP was planning on releasing it with Android, but when it acquired Palm and webOS, it changed its plans. This means that whatever they had been working on with Android was never completed. It also means it was well before Google released ICS, so whatever work was done on it, was done for Android 2.3. This basically means that as good as it is that HP seems to be cooperating by releasing this code, it really doesn’t matter a whole lot. The two biggest issues with CM9 right now are WiFi and HD video playback. The kernel source won’t help with either of those. The two things they did find that might be helpful have to do with audio issues, and a better way to handle Bluetooth.

Now what I find to be pretty funny is that ever since a couple of Touchpads showed up at people’s doorstep with Android installed, HP has been denying that they ever had Android on a Touchpad. The developer green who made the post over on Rootwikiz had this to say: “I just got a call from a HP webOS person who told me there is no way HP actually created this other kernel source and there is (and was) no another kernel team at HP that works on touchpad.” Interesting since that is exactly where the kernel source came from.

Apparently HP is still investigating to see if they can get their hands on the code for WiFi to be passed onto the CM team. If that happens, it will be great news. Otherwise the moral of this story is don’t believe everything you read on the internet. It’s always best to check out the source whenever possible. So feel free to click on the link right after this paragraph and go and read green’s thread on Rootzwiki.


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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.

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