Hey HP, we know you're new to the Android game, so here's a tip: if you've got a hot new piece of hardware, the absolute worst time to announce it is a few hours before Google I/O. That said, the new SlateBook x2 might garner some interest thanks to its internals alone - it's one of the first devices after NVIDIA's own Shield to use the Tegra 4 SoC. Throw in a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 screen and a very familiar-looking keyboard dock, and you've got the makings of a serious competitor. Well, you might, if it weren't for the high price tag and cheap-looking build.
It took them the better part of two years, but HP is finally ready to get back in the consumer tablet game, this time backing Android. Their first tablet will be the Slate 7, a small model that's light on price and even lighter on surprises. Roughly comparable to the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, the 1024x600 FFS+ LCD screen sits on top of a 1.6Ghz dual-core A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of MicroSD-expandable storage. According to HP's promotional page, it will be available in at least two colors. The rear camera is a disappointing 3 megapixels, with the front a dismal VGA model, and it runs stock Android 4.1.
It may not make headlines alongside photo services like Flickr and Picasa, but HP's photo-centric service allows users to store and share photos, create greeting cards, scrapbooks, blankets and a host of other physical products. Now, HP has released an app that allows users to access and share their photos while away from the desktop.
At the moment, the app only allows users to view the photos, so there go your hopes of creating prints of your photos right after you take them isn't quite there yet. Still, if you like to create memorabilia of your family photos (and why wouldn't you), this app will help you keep track of your photos.
The AT&T Galaxy SII (i777) isn't the only Android device getting official CyanogenMod 9 nightly love today, as the first nightlies just went live for the HP TouchPad (codename tenderloin) and the LG Nitro HD (codename p930, also known as LG Optimus LTE on Bell Canada).
It could oftentimes be unstable and not properly tested, lacking any changelogs, but eventually evolving into alphas, betas, release candidates, and finally stable releases.
Remember back when an HP Touchpad was spotted running Android out of the box? Well, it would appear that after some cajoling, the CM team (in association with an attorney) have convinced HP to release the Touchpad's Android kernel source, along with a couple of other GPL components specifically modified for Android-powered Touchpads accidentally released to the wild. In addition to the kernel, HP released code to androidvncserver and i2c-tools. The only thing missing, according to Green (part of the CM team), is the Wi-Fi driver. Green explains this in an announcement on the RootzWiki forums:
Just six days after The CyanogenMod (CM) team released the first alpha build for the TouchPad, they're back with alpha 2. Despite being bumped up a version, it's still an alpha, meaning there are many things that can (and likely will) go wrong. Still, it looks like they've made quite a few improvements with the update:
(AKA things we hope we fixed)
* Plugging headphones in should now shut off speaker volume
* Battery drain issues have been (partially) addressed
* More apps now available in market (thanks to Flemmard)
* Temporarily removed suspect fsck_msdos to fix random folder deletion on media/sdcard.
Soon after HP started their TouchPad fire sale, a version of the device running Android 2.2 appeared on eBay and went on to sell for almost $700. Hopes for an Android port were high and the developer community swung into action offering a $2300 bounty for anyone who could load Android on the TouchPad. The CyanogenMod team, Android developers extraordinaire, did not disappoint and soon the news broke that they had managed to successfully get Android running on the TouchPad. Over the next few weeks the CM team made a number of tweaks to the various hardware and software components of the HP TouchPad, including GPU acceleration, Wi-Fi, Sound, Accelerometer, 3D Games, and video acceleration to ensure that CM7 worked smoothly.
Just last week we reported that a HP TouchPad running Android 2.2 was being sold on eBay for $700. The claim seemed a little dubious, especially considering the inflated price tag, but today news just broke that CM7 has finally made its way onto the HP TouchPad. The news comes from Rootzwiki, who included a video and a letter from the CM Team related to the project and its recent progress.
The letter explains that the footage is from last week, meaning much progress has been made, many tablet-centric tweaks have been added, and the team is still hard at work making improvements.
The HP TouchPad has become quite a hot topic in the Android community as of late, thanks to its ultra-low price tag and superb hardware specs. Several dev teams have already stepped forward to announce plans to port Android to the device, while at least two devices have already been sold with developer builds of Android intact right out of the box.
One of the lucky owners of said Android-ified TouchPads, jiwanish, has been so kind as to provide a full system dump to RootzWiki, allowing devs to make some real progress on the Android TouchPad front. The build is Android 2.2.1, and is most definitely a test version from the Qualcomm Innovation Center, as it shows the logo upon bootup.
HP's recently announced TouchPad is a genuinely exciting device - there's no question about that. In fact, with such features as a dual-core Qualcomm CPU and the fancy new "Tap to Share" technology, it might just be the most serious competition Honeycomb tablets will face in the first half of 2011, aside from a certain Apple product.
But is it enough to cause you, dear Android Police reader, to second-guess the XOOM or G-Slate? I know it isn't enough for me - and here's why.
Just look at the TouchPad - its design makes it clear that what HP has created is essentially the iPad's twin sister.