by Derek Kessler on 5/12/2013 | Filed Under: News; Tags: Phoenix, Android Compatibility Layer, Kickstarter | 48 comments
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.