CyanogenMod 10 for the TouchPad almost ready for prime time
Back in August, TouchPad hacking mastermind James Sullins released a really early build of CyanogenMod10 for those of us daring enough to try something that is far from stable in the Android-on-your-TouchPad world. At the time this early ROM worked but was missing several key elements like sound and hardware acceleration. Despite missing some fairly important things for the typical daily driver, James' early build showed a bunch of promise and oozed the buttery smoothness that is a staple point of Android 4.1 (aka Jellybean). However, after the initial release James disappeared, leaving us all craving for some more Jelly Bean action. After several months we were starting to think the project was dead. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, a new build of CM10 hit the interwebs and to our surprise it's amazingly stable, despite being carrying an experimental pre-alpha build label.
So what has changed? First and foremost, CM10 now has sound and hardware acceleration, so Netflix and YouTube lovers will be happy with their video framerates and, well, having audio. This build also has working microphone functionality, which has been a sore spot for CyangenMod 9 TouchPad users due to the proprietary drivers needed for our beloved tablets. During our testing we have found that mic functionality is a bit finnicky, especially when trying to use Google Now. It's still pre-alpha, so take that performance with a grain of salt. Outside of that, almost every app we tried from simple Twitter apps to graphically-intensive games all worked without a hitch.
With all this goodness in tow you are probably wondering why this hasn't been released as an alpha or an official nightly. Well, that's because there are several kinks that still need to be ironed out. For example, many people from the various forums following this build have experienced several different battery and charging issues. During our testing of James' newest build from November 8 we experienced fantastic battery life in comparison to what we've experienced with CM9. That said, our TouchPad on this CM10 alpha wouldn't take a charge without turning on USB debugging in Android's developer options. Don't ask us why this managed to fix the issue, but it did. In addition to battery and charging issues, users may also experience the occasional force close of an app and no camera support (no surprise on that one, and not a great loss considering the quality of the TouchPad's lone front-facing camera).
Outside of the above-listed issues we have found this build of CM10 to be pretty darn stable. So much so that we probably won't be moving back to CM9 anytime soon for our Android needs. But that's only because we've already got it installed - like all things experimental (see the Open webOS porting process onto the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone), we aren't yet ready to suggest you dive in with CM10 as a daily driver operating system. But if you are the adventerous type, just hit up the source link below for more info. As soon as something more stable is released, be prepared for full walkthrough on how to get your TouchPad up to date with CM10. If you have yet to take the plunge and dual boot your TouchPad with webOS and Android 4.0, be sure to check our our great how-to on installing CyanogenMod9 on your device.