Wednesday, November 09, 2011

TouchPad Update

Recently I posted about putting Android CyanogenMod 7 (CM7) on my HP TouchPad. It's running well and I wanted to share how it's been going.

It is still rock solid. I haven't had any Sleep of Death (SOD) since right after I flashed CM7. The Wi-Fi doesn't connect as easily as it should but frankly it connects as easily as my Nook Color also running CM7. Kinda makes me wonder if it's something in CM7. Anyway, simply swiping the notification bar and toggling Wi-Fi almost always allows the TouchPad to connect.

Other people are complaining that the battery life is not good. I haven't found that to be a big problem. I tested this the other day by fully charging and letting it sit unused with the screen off for 24 hours. The battery dropped to 72%. The Wi-Fi seemed to stay connected throughout the 24 hours as I heard it dinging when I received new e-mails. That's not as good as the Nook Color but certainly very usable.

I've gotten the BlueTooth paired and connected to my ThinkPad and been able to transfer files in both directions. I've used this to send videos to the TouchPad. I use Handbrake with the same settings as I use on the Nook Color. Looks great on the video player that comes on CM7. YouTube videos play fine, even HD.

I read that the Google Docs problem was fixed in the latest version on the Android Market but I haven't tested it. What I have is working fine.

Skype will run if you install version 6 but audio drops after a minute or so.

Swype is my preferred keyboard and there's a thread talking how to decompile the Swype bits and change the code and recompile and sign the resulting .apk. Whoa! Too geeky even for me. I found that version 3 (Swype_EN_NL_WVGA_v3.26.92.35406_flat_black_v5-signed.apk) works. It isn't as wide as the display but works fine.

I also installed QuickOffice and along with Swype this combination has made the TouchPad extremely usable. This week I was on the way to a meeting and received an e-mail with a .docx document relative to that meeting. I pulled up to a Starbucks, connected to their Wi-Fi (with no problem) and downloaded the document. QuickOffice opened it and rendered it properly. I proceeded on to the meeting and was able to participate in the meeting while referencing the document on the TouchPad.

You couldn't ask for much more for $99.


Dick Vandenberg said...

The more I hear about your successes with the TouchPad the more I want one... but the $99 TouchPad won't happen again for a few years. Oh well.

You're probably right about CM being the source of radio problems. I have similar problems with my G1 connecting to Wifi (sometimes) and GPS (always).

Patrick Ruckh said...

Best $99 you ever spent