What if it was possible to purchase inexpensive tablets and at the same time have access to most features of prime tablets today?
Earlier this year, my relatives spontaneously decided to give me an HP TouchPad during one of my weekend visits. It didn’t take me long to realize why they just gave it away without hesitation. HP’s WebOS appeared to be sleek and user-friendly. However, as I started to browse and download apps from HP’s store, it became apparent that they lacked a diverse lineup of apps and widgets for me to make the most out of this tablet. One could just imagine my horror when I, a self-proclaimed movie and television junkie, discovered that the HP webstore didn’t have the Netflix app. So, I inquired further about the HP TouchPad from my friends and of course the internet. Long story short, HP couldn’t compete with Samsung and Apple and for a while they pulled out the TouchPad. At the same time, there was a period when they sold their TouchPads for $99 just to make up for some of their financial losses.
So, what am I to do with a tablet that doesn’t have much app fanbase or support as Samsung or Apple? Now that the mega TouchPad sale is over, I was positive that it would be hard to sell it. Yes, it was less expensive but you wouldn’t have access to most apps that we look for in tablets. Sad right? BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. What if it was possible to purchase inexpensive tablets like the HP TouchPad or Motorola Xoom and at the same time have access to most features of prime tablets today?
Yes, it is possible! After some research, I found out that there’s a mod called Cyanogenmod and it makes it possible for tablets like the TouchPad or Xoom to carry Android’s OS. For those of you who don’t know what Android is, it is the operating system that most top Samsung products operate on. Imagine having that on a tablet that is half the price of Samsung’s. There are some minor bugs, but it’s hardly a price to pay for the benefits of installing this mod. So let’s get down to business!
For the purpose of this article, I will focus on the HP TouchPad. However, the links I will provide will have other resources for installing the mod if you have a different brand.
What do you need:
HP TouchPad $264.99-$298.75 (Amazon but I’m sure you could buy one cheaper at Ebay or Craigslist!)
Cyanogenmod and other necessary files! $0 (Yes, free!)
How do I do it? Is it hard?
Well, aside from the two requirements I mentioned above, it would help if you had the virtue of patience. I’ve made mistakes here and there during my first time, but I diligently went through the process until I successfully installed the mod.
Before you watch the mod tutorial videos, I advise you read up on this article from liliputing.com for a brief overview of the process. NOTE: Do not attempt to install Cyanogenmod 10 because it is still unstable but for all the other files, get all the latest versions.
Video tutorial by TheJacintosh for my Mac brethren:
Video tutorial by reverendjkr for Windows people:
I hope this article helped you discover more practical options in choosing a tablet and in effect taught you a bit of tinkering with gadgets. The resources I provided are pretty much straight forward and easy to understand. If for any reason, you make a mistake and you can’t find a solution online… don’t worry it can be fixed! Shoot me an e-mail and I’ll help you right away.