A brick is really just a half-baked hunk of dirt, unless you put it to good use. Such is the case with the HP TouchPad, a half-baked tablet that recently became a $500 brick when HP announced it was discontinuing support for all WebOS devices. Now, a team of coders is looking to put this shiny brick to good use.
They call themselves the TouchDroid team, and they've set up shop over on the RootzWiki forums with the goal of porting Android onto the TouchPad, which has been selling out everywhere from online vendors to my local, rural Wal-Mart since HP announced its liquidation prices--$99 for the 16GB model, $149 for the 32GB.
The project is just getting going--at last check not all team members had even gotten their hands on a TouchPad yet.
The goal is to first produce a stable beta using Android Gingerbread and then move on to developing a Honeycomb version while still supporting and fixing bugs in the Gingerbread build, according to a post by team leader Thomas Sohmers on Rootzwiki.
Sohmers adds that if Android's Ice Cream Sandwich is released in the middle of the project, the team will stop developing for Honeycomb and switch over to ICS.
It could be a little while before anything is ready to load onto a TouchPad, though. Earlier today one of the team leads, John Hale tweeted that "until all of the #touchdroid developers receive their devices, project development will be very slow or at a standstill this week."
Meanwhile, there's a movement afoot over at the HP forums. In just the past 12 hours, a call has gone out for HP to release WebOS to the open-source community. That doesn't seem likely, since HP says they'll continue to develop WebOS, perhaps for use in home appliances or cars, and they seem pretty excited about it.
Then again, they also seemed pretty excited about the TouchPad. Either way, sooner or later someone will figure out something to do with this pile of bricks...