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New wine in old bottle: The good ol' HP TouchPad gets a working Android 9 Pie custom ROM

HP TouchPad: What is dead may never die. (Source: Amazon)
HP TouchPad: What is dead may never die. (Source: Amazon)
AOSP-based Android 9 Pie ROMs are now available for the eight-year old HP TouchPad thanks to the efforts of the custom ROM community. The HP TouchPad, abandoned soon after release, originally ran webOS but was quickly adopted by enthusiasts who managed to successfully port several Android OS versions to the tablet. While certain functionality such as Bluetooth and Camera are still being worked upon, testers claim that the tablet is able to run the latest Android update just as new.

It wouldn't be a wrong assertion to state that the HP TouchPad is to tablets similar to how the HTC HD2 is to phones — both simply refuse to die. The HP TouchPad launched in 2011 for US$499 and came with webOS, one that was way too advanced for its time. Shortly after release, HP announced that the TouchPad would not be supported anymore but still went on to offer the webOS 3.0.5 update in early 2012. The tablet soon dropped to US$99 and enthusiasts lapped up whatever stocks were left.

Thanks to the efforts of custom ROM enthusiasts, the HP TouchPad received its first Android 2.3 Gingerbread update in October 2011 followed by the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in 2012 and Android 4.4.2 KitKat in 2014. The TouchPad has since received most Android OS updates right up till Android 7 Nougat. Now, an AOSP-based Android 9 Pie custom ROM is available thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member elginsk8r who recently released the Evervolv ROM for the HP TouchPad.

The features of the open-source Evervolv ROM include an extended power menu, music control with the volume buttons, key rebinding, expanded desktop, and more. Bluetooth and Camera do not function at this point but the author notes that they are being worked upon. Also joining the party is the Dirty Unicorns Android 9 Pie custom ROM for the HP TouchPad that has also found a good number of takers.

If you have a HP TouchPad lying around collecting dust, now is the time to probably resurrect it. While OEMs may have to abandon certain products due to business reasons, the enthusiast community is to be lauded for putting in the efforts to give these products a new lease of life. Do you have a HP TouchPad that could use some revival voodoo? Let us know in the comments below.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 04 > New wine in old bottle: The good ol' HP TouchPad gets a working Android 9 Pie custom ROM
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-04-30 (Update: 2019-04-30)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.