Thursday, August 02, 2012

HP missed the Android boat

I'm just back from my annual vacation to visit the in-laws in Canada. Apart from the usual things I do there, such as fishing, diving and relaxing by the pool under 30 Centigrade temperatures with not a single cloud in the sky, I usually end up spending some time at technical support for the extended family. This time one of the things I ended up doing was something I wanted to do for myself earlier this year: install Android on an HP TouchPad. When HP ditched the TouchPad I tried to get hold of one of them when they were cheap (about $100); not for WebOS but because the hardware was pretty good. Unfortunately I couldn't get hold of one, but my mother-in-law did and she's suffered under the lack of capabilities and apps ever since.

So I installed ICS on the TouchPad relatively easily and the rest, as they say, is history. Apart from the camera not working (hopefully there'll be a patch eventually), the conclusion from my in-law is that it's a completely new device. And after having used it myself for a few days, I have to agree. Even 8+ months after it was released, the TouchPad ran Android as smoothly as some of the newer devices I've experienced. I think it's a real shame that HP decided to get out of the tablet business (at least for now) with an attitude that it either had to be WebOS or nothing. I can also understand the business reasons why they wanted to get value out of the Palm acquisition. But I do think they missed a great opportunity to create a wonderful Android tablet.

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