Just to provide some context to this post, I have owned an IPAD for over a year. I still think that IPADs are the best tablets on the market right now but could not resist the opportunity to purchase an HP Touchpad when the firesale began in late August. One of my primary goals of using the Touchpad was to load it up with some of my daughter’s movies so that I could get my IPAD back. I couldn’t have my IPAD out without my daughter wanting to watch “Barbie” or “Mickey” (Mouse). When I received my Touchpad I thought some of the gestures like closing an app were really cleaver but overal usability put it way behind the IPAD in my opinon. But since I was primarily using it as a movie player for my daughter, it was serving its purpose.
I have been following CyanogenMod‘s progress and was pretty interested in getting my hands on the software. I noticed this week that the first Alpha version was out but was not 100% sure I wanted to take the leap just quite yet. I waited a day or two and noticed that others were having some success so I figured why not.
I followed the instructions on HowToGeek.com and had a really smooth experience. Overall it took me about 25 minutes from start to finish. I have been pleasantly surprised with the stability of the release. I have not had any un-expected exceptions or crashes. Do note that this post has been written about 24 hours after getting it installed so it may still be early but I have used it a manner that I usually use my IPAD and am happy with my experience.
Getting access to the Marketplace was a breath of fresh air coming from the Touchpad App Store. People like to rag on Microsoft for its app store, the HP store was even worse. So even though this version of Android does not support all of the applications in the App store I was still able to download and use many of my favorites including:
- Seesmic (Twitter)
- Angry Birds
- Google Talk
- ESPN SportsCentre
- The Weather Network
- Fieldgoal flick game
- Basketball free throw game
I have no ide what the upgrade path is(if one exists) when newer versions of CyanogenMod’s software is released, but I will be eagerly be waiting for the next release.
While loading up Alpha versions of software certainly do pose some risk, in this case it was worth it. I just wasn’t very happy with the TouchPad and now with Android on my TouchPad I am debating giving my daughter my IPAD so that I can use this device as my primary tablet. So for those of you who really enjoy your Touchpad I would suggest you just stick with it. But, for those that are already board of their touchpad and have the skills and appetite for a digital adventure – go for it! (at your own risk of course)