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Phoenix ACL for TouchPad passes $35,000 Kickstarter goal with 10 days to spare

If you've been waiting to get Android apps running on your webOS-powered HP TouchPad (without having to actually install Android, that is), then you might just be one step closer to your desired future. Two weeks ago, webOS upstarts Phoenix International Communications partnered with OpenMobile to launch a Kickstarter campaign to finance the completion and release of the Android Compatibility Layer for TouchPad. The ACL's purpose is straightforward: to enable the running of Android apps on the TouchPad. The Kickstarter goal was $35,000 - not ambitious by Kickstarter standards.

Two weeks later, that $35,000 funding goal has been met and surpassed, with more than 575 contributors offering an average of $62.39 towards the project. 74 have pledged what amounts to a donation - less than $30 (though some pledge levels do promise swag like a Phoenix-branded LED keychain flashlight), while the rest pledged at least the $30 needed to secure a copy of the ACL on release. Sixteen others have pledged a backing of at least $90, securing access to the ACL one week earlier than lower pledges, 5 offered the $150 required for two weeks of early access, four are putting up $250 for the privilege of being a beta tester (paying to help sort bugs, really?).

Beyond that, a single donation of $500 secured a copy of ACL on a CD with a pack of swag, $600 for the swag pack and a new TouchPad with ACL, and one very dedicated soul pledged a whopping $7500 for a flight to New York, dinner with the Phoenix team, and a rare white 64GB TouchPad along with the requisite ACL and swag pack.

Now that the funding goal has been met, the pressure is really on for the Phoenix team. They've committed to an estimated delivery date of July 2013 for the ACL, and though the funding release for the Kickstarter campaign is still ten days away, we hope they're already hard at work on getting the ACL ready for release. Of course, Kickstarter in no way guarantees the success if any project financed on their platform, so it's going to be up to the webOS Nation community to hold Phoenix to their commitments. After all - it's your money.

Having met that funding goal, Phoenix has laid out their plans for the future of the ACL. Funding in excess of the $35,000 goal is intended to go to developing the ACL's next versions, including an update to replace the current Android 2.3 back-end with something based on Android 4.x instead and plans to release the ACL for the HP Pre3. We also hope they're planning on an Open webOS-compatible version of the ACL - as much as we love our old webOS hardware, the future lies with new hardware powered by the open source version of webOS, not in squeezing more life out of our beloved but aged webOS tablets and smartphones.


So Derek, when do you fly out for your dinner and TouchPad?


I don't have that kind of money, at least not for this. ;-)

Where exactly is the new hardware for OpenWebOS? :(

Every Android phone that comes out.....;-)

More importantly: Where's the version of Open webOS that's actually useful enough to replace webOS 3.0.x?

I'm one of the product designers for PIC. I assure that we are currently working hard in designing devices with a unique experience. I can't give any details at this time, but we are doing our very best. (:

Where do I sign up to be a beta tester?

Unfortunately we are quite a ways away from needing beta testers, but with the success of the kickstarter, its one more large step to getting some new WebOS hardware for all of you!

hello ridie,

Forgive me for being a skeptic, but are you calling collecting $35k, to finance reasonably challenging IT project a "success", and based on this, you draw your further expansion plans??? Being in IT myself, I can tell this kind of money buys you practically NOTHING, unless you are really doing it not for profit OR have another income model in plans.? it covers MAYBE, a three man-months of salary expenses for an experienced developer (and it is a BIG stretch, really)??? LEt alone ANY other costs of running software/hardware shop???

I can see it two ways: a) Phoenix is at best, two- three guys who get together to knock something together, and getting a good work experience in the process,
or b) at worst... a fraud

? Pick your poison. Do you care to reply, kindly?

I understand the skepticism, and as I do not directly interact with the part of our group handling this project, I cannot elaborate too much. But PIC, as it stands currently, is entirely non-profit. I have not received a single cent from this endeavor, and while I cannot speak on the behalf of the rest of PIC's fellow members, I am fairly certain that they would agree in that we do not expect any form of compensation until all or nearly all of our goals have been met first. This is one of the reasons it has taken us this long to reach this point, each member has had to incorporate the time for work into his/her lives and several other closely related dilemmas. And yes, we are a fairly small group, but motivated nonetheless.

Awesome! I backed it, tweeted it, posted a widget of on my site, even dreamed of it. Awesome!

Unrelated to this but sometimes I click on this site's ads just to support them since I know they don't get horrendous amounts of traffic to the status that webOS is in right now.

"As much as we love our old webOS hardware, the future lies with new hardware powered by the open source version of webOS, not in squeezing more life out of our beloved but aged webOS tablets and smartphones."

I couldn't agree more - this is really why I didn't want to back this project.

I appreciate that getting ACL to be hardware agnostic is likely to be an large engineering task, but for me, that's where real value is added to webOS.

At this time we are currently working on designing devices, and while things are coming along well, there are still a few barriers that we have yet to pass.

I hope you'll have an option that speaks to the portrait keyboard market still! This is a huge part of why I'm still happy "nursing" my old devices. It's not just webOS, it's also the form factor.

Have no fear my good sir, for we are considering many form factors. Including form factors that are not only for smartphones. We also have been working on brand new form factors as well (:

You don't 'pass' barriers - you demolish them!

- in the 'coming months' of course.


Its all about momentum, and we're trying to get enough!

This is awesome! I have a touchpad with both but to have android without switching is pure joy. I also have a Pre 3 and to ahve 4X on it would be grat along with my BB Z10!

and all the IDEOTS who thoaght this was " far from being a possible thing to happen" when what!? jajajajaja

man webos is the best OS out there of course we have to donate I cant wait for JULY

If no one takes a chance, nothing will happen.

This is GREAT -- and kudos to Cuspie for putting his/her money where his/her mouth is! (Kudos to Cuspie could be a great name for a band, by the way.)

What will be the anticipated cost of this android layer? I have just started considering attempting to sell my Touchpad. With no new apps, and little prospects for development of apps and services, I am holding on to it only for increasingly sentimental reasons. If this android layer will actually be functional, and scalable, it would give me a digital reason to keep my device. Thanks!

I'm guessing it will run around $30 or so. If it works, it's a good deal at that price for me

I would love to be able to use shasam for webos

I'm hoping for

  • QR code scanning
  • Mobile banking apps such as take a picture of your check to deposit it, although I know that would be pretty awkward with the Touchpad's front-facing camera.
  • Firefox mobile

please get to work fast man im dying here and so is webos I will donate more as I see the progressssss

jajajaja see webos users got money baby $$$$$ :-)

well they have given us a dateline so I think we fund them to make sure they meet it? I dont know I think this donation thing puts the power on the nation not the government get it now us the customers are in control! I like it come man lets all think positive and see how this plays out this is going to help plenty on keeping webos alive now hp gave that update too that almost put webos off line man I think fate is on webos side despite all the negative people are there any webos T-shirts Ima see if I can buy one too :-)

Cool: StyleTap® for Android™ with Android Apps in WebOS on the Touchpad to access my old PalmOS Apps :-D

...which should be possible with Cyanogenmod. But that requires rebootin' :-(

the dateline is close

is it me or the new facebook looks a lot like facebook for webos? or the facebook app for webos

the new deadline is august but they are making great progress we got to keep funding this is gona be great! :-) look at all the progress on this project on their website its awsome

Hey Derek! You still there? There have been some pretty sweet changes since this article about ACL. Care to update the webOS Nation (or have we dwindled to a province...) on it's status? Thanks.

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