HP’s webOS has been dead for a while now, but that hasn’t stopped resourceful tinkerers from giving it an afterlife. Instead of holding onto an OS that they clearly had no further interest in, HP decided to release the code to the open source world.
While many HP TouchPad owners ended up turning their tablets into Android devices via a custom ROM, some webOS fans weren’t so eager to move on. One of these users was webOS developer Steven Troughton-Smith. Earlier in the year he managed to get the Open webOS Beta up and running on a Asus Transformer Prime tablet.
Now that the more stable Open webOS 1.0 is out, he returned to work once again. The Transformer Prime supposedly took to the ROM easily. There is no official word on when, or even if, the developer plans to release the port for other users. We also don’t now how stable it is. Even if it never sees the light of day beyond Troughton-Smith’s own tablet, this is still pretty cool.
With no major hardware supporters and app development all but halted, why put Open webOS on a tablet or smartphone? The better question is “why not?” Some of us like messing around with alternative operating systems and ROMs just to see if we can. We are just lucky that there is hardware platform that lets us do it.
Consider this further testament to just how flexible and customizable Android devices are. While some carriers are less open to the idea of custom ROMs than others, it is still one of the great things about the ecosystem. Good luck trying get an alternative ROM project like this working with something like an Apple iPad.