Some of you may remember a little device called the HP TouchPad. It was a tablet that was manufactured by HP back in 2011 that ran the WebOS platform. Some of you may even remember that not long after it launched it was apparently doing so horribly that Best Buy was holding a nice little fire sale on the device, which saw plenty of people getting their hands on a tablet that was actually pretty decent for a mere fraction of the original cost. Sadly the stock on those didn’t last long so I personally lost out on my opportunity to get one, but many consumers were able to snag them before they were completely gone and thus began the HP TouchPad’s continued life cycle even after HP killed the device and the support for the platform officially.
So how does the once available tablet manage to stay alive? Simple. Because of users in the community that have repeatedly hacked it to bits and put together Android builds for the device after rooting it. To this day there are still development communities putting out efforts to support the device and allow it to continue doing its thing. The support for the tablet is unofficial of course, but the latest on that particular topic is that the HP TouchPad now has unofficial Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat support. Yep, the Touch Pad now has Kit Kat running on it, or it could if you still own one and wanted to flash to ROM. It’s actually almost as crazy as the continued support that HTC’s HD2 has gotten over the years, despite the many better available options and increasing offerings of cheaper devices with newer and better specs, and officially newer software. That hasn’t stopped individuals from making such a thing possible on the TouchPad though because there are likely still many users out there carrying Touch Pad’s and want to continue to use them.
This new Kit Kat based ROM comes from a developer over at XDA named Jcsullins, and the ROM is a build of Cyanogenmod 11 that seems to actually make the Touch Pad run better than previous Android builds for the normally non-Android based device. As liliputing notes, some features that never quite worked right on older Android builds like Bluetooth, HD video, and others, but those same features seem to flourish with this build of Kit Kat and work just fine. OK maybe flourish was a bit too strong of a word but they certainly work better according to those using them. If you have a TouchPad and wanted to try giving this build a shot, you can head over to the original XDA thread to get things started but as always, make sure you follow all steps in the process. How bout that, the TouchPad just won’t die.