TouchStone hacking on Android Devices; Say it ain't so! | webOS Nation
 
 

TouchStone hacking on Android Devices; Say it ain't so! 31

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Mon, 19 Sep 2011 3:02 pm EDT

If the photo above looks a little bit strange to your webOS-trained eye, that's because it is. Until now, if you wanted to have wireless inductive charging on your device, you either had to have a phone that fit with the rather expensive charging mats from Energizer, or get a cool TouchStone Dock with your webOS device.  On Android Central, forum member darrenf has done the daring task that most Android users might only dream of; he has modded his Samsung Epic 4G Touch to work with a Palm TouchStone dock.

This isn't the first time that this has happened, either. The original Epic 4G and Sprint's Evo 4G have had some of the same modifications added to them, and all with similar caveats attached. If you still have a TouchStone lying around and want to try your hand at getting that extra Epic 4G Touch to work with it (for your friend, right? Cause you're still using webOS...), you'll be doing some major hacking to the Samsung device that could certainly cause irreparable damage, including putting the charging coils on the outside of the device. 

HP might not be giving us webOS devices anymore, but Palm's handywork sure keeps coming back with great uses for gadget-lovers. You can see the step-by-step instructions in the Android Central forums at the source link below, or just gloat in the comments about how you've been using this wireless charging method for more than two years. Either way, there's certainly a lot of respect to be given to a guy that is willing to work with his device in such ways, but even more respect for the company that brings us more webOS devices to use the TouchStone with.

Source: AC Forums; Via: AndroidCentral

31 Comments

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery...

Can we smack HP with this, showing them what they've lost because of their own ignorance?

sigh

yes, I'm still bitter...

This phone is awesome! I just got it on Friday, it's a huge leap from my old palm pre.
I'll miss webOS, but the huge screen, thin phone, 9 hour battery life i'm getting and the many apps on Android will help fill in the WebOS void.
I don't think I'd want to try this on my new $200 phone, but I sure do hope more people adopt this touchstone mechanism

yep, got the same phone last weekend. I had no idea what I was missing in terms of hardware. I still miss a bunch of the WebOS features, but the hardware kicks the Pre in the teeth. Whenever I read the "laggy" comments in reviews of various WebOS devices, I just blew it off and wondered what the **** they were talking about. Now I know.

I am right with you there on all points. I still feel a twinge of sadness though every time I backswipe this phone wondering why it's not switching apps like the Pre I just set aside.

Same here, I got mine Monday and it's incredible.. I have no complaints about it other than missing the old TouchStone charger. I wish someone would come out with a commercial way to adapt the old chargers for the Galaxy S II.

I'll be happier when we get webOS on the HD2!!

now add in exhibition, exhibition support in apps, and auto-speaker-when-on-touchstone-change-to-normal-when lifted, etc.

Come on, folks, leave us poor webos holdouts something...

Actually, there's an app that launches when it detect the dock. Exhibition support I think the the only thing missing, but that's probably because the app is geared towards car docks. It shows a shortcuts to your default map app, one tap voice input, etc.

I just got the DROID X as a backup phone, because even though I have 4 webOs backup phones, I know eventually I'm going to have to switch. Anyways, I've gotten so used to just setting my phone on the touchstone on my desk that I did it with the Droid and it went into Car Dock mode. Motorola must have put magnets in the car dock so it knows when to open that app.

Samsung promised a USB pass-through and audio docking with the original Epic 4G (I had one) despite the 100K apps in the Android Market, no one had made it work yet by the time I sold my Epic 10 mo after the buggy POS came out.

But all was not lost; I used the PayPal proceeds of the Epic ($200 on eBay with it's docks) to buy accessories for my Touchpad, lol! (and still money left to spend).

I'm currently working with the guy who made the picture to fix a rather large and debilitating problem.

When the coil is oriented on the touchstone correctly, the phone receives to much voltage, which causes the screen to respond to touches erratically. So, if it's on the dock, it recharges fine, but is useless if you want to do anything while it's there.

Inductive charging wasn't started by Palm.

No, but they certainly did create the Palm TouchStone Charging Dock.

Right hardware; very, very wrong software.

Why havent more companies taken the touchstone idea??

Who wants to fidel with plugs when you can just place it on a inductive charger like the touchstone..

Without the touchstone I probably would have thrown my pre minus out the window since the battery life drains soooo quick.. the touchstone makes it liveable (1 at work, 1 on night stand, 1 on home computer desk, 1 in downstairs tv room).. thanks to verizon and those cheap under $10 touchstone docks :)

My thoughts are that for apple there are a couple reasons. The first is apple has a dock that has a main purpose of file transfer and an inductive charger isn't a file transfer device. So i think that's a big hurdle. I'm sure there are ways to deal with it like put a wifi chip in it or bluetooth or something but that's more cost and complexity. I'm don't think even palm added that feature. But i think as time goes on and they work that out that sort of thing will come.

The other thing is i think is that to the huge majority of people how a phone charges is not a big factor in buying a phone. I think the Palm user is unique. They are not mainstream. But i think most people are fine plugging something into a wall or a dock. And because it's not a big factor i think many companies just don't put much effort into the tech because they don't think the money spent equates to significant sales. And i'll be honest, i don't have a touchstone charger and don't feel the need to have one other then convenience. But i wasn't worth the added cost to buy one when i bought my original pre. Where i to pay full price to do what you did, have 4, it would have been over $100 bucks. It's not that big a deal if they are all on sale for $5 bucks but companies don't anticipate selling them at a loss so they wouldn't be $5 bucks. They'd be $29 like an iphone dock and thus buying tons may not be a plus for potential consumers. It wasn't for me. Side note i lost my charger the other month and you couldn't find a charger for a palm phone anywhere; touchstone or wall. ended up getting a generic micro usb cable from frys. and this was before HP stopped making webos devices.

And the last reason i think is it is a bit of a dance to tout a technology for charging a phone when what most phone users want to do is put forth their product as one that does not need to constantly be charged because they have such good battery life. Blackberries have always used battery life as a big selling point. Apple too. But i think it's a dance to highlight the need to charge. You need a smart sales pitch to not have people go "what's wrong with your phone that make me need to put it on a charger mid day?" So i think they've also yet to get that sales pitch right.

my two cents.

A decent argument, though I didn't agree with all of it. But... "not constantly needing to be charged"... what smartphones do you use?

The Incredible? A battery hog. The Bionic? Read the reviews. The iPhone? The most common building wide e-mail is "Can I borrow your iPhone charger fro a few hours?". A Blackberry? Long battery life only because nobody uses it for much more than mail. Talk to the people with the Storm.

Ignoring the fact that a phone regularly needs a charge does not change the fact.

When the inductive charger becomes commonplace, (unfortunately for us, likely long after webOS is ensconced in the vault of an HP warehouse) nobody will say it's a gimmick.

Have you ever messed with an iPhone 4 for a spell? Its got a really good battery life in it.

The most consistent "wow that's cool" remark I get for my Palm's is when I put them on the Touchstone in my truck or office. Especially when I then talk to it with MS Sync to make calls and play music in my truck. More people are impressed with that than Synergy.

(yeah - my Ford hybrid truck has an AC plug!)

that's a nice looking phone.

The Nexus S has also been similarly modified by a few brave folks.

One problem with the Touchstone concept is that they would mess up a compass. I don't know if the metal blocks mess it up when it's away, but that could also be the case.

I will miss the Touchstones whenever I upgrade. I've even got one mounted on the dash in my car. Works great for Nav, music, recharging, speaker phone.... Sigh.

Yeah, I have a touchstone one my desk at home and one at work. I'm really gonna miss being able to just plop my phone down once I end up getting whatever I'm getting. :\

No surprise. This is all inevitable. No matter what can be said pro or con about other platforms, at least they are continuing to improve themselves. Any distinguishing features of webOS will duplicated and eventually even surpassed while HP figures out how to put our choice of OS on a printer or how to draft a viable business plan.

Meanwhile, Leo fiddles while Rome burns.

or Samsung buys HP as a hostile takeover when stock low enough.

Not much as a peep from Leo while Rome is burning :-(

I did this to my BB Curve (work phone, not my choice, I hate it) last month, it works great. It doesn't look as nice as his, but the silicone case covers the ugly bits. Now I can still use the stock of touchstones I have. Wireless charging is hard to give up.

"Until now, if you wanted to have wireless inductive charging on your device, you either had to have a phone that fit with the rather expensive charging mats from Energizer, or get a cool TouchStone Dock with your webOS device."

AND

"This isn't the first time that this has happened, either. The original Epic 4G and Sprint's Evo 4G have had some of the same modifications added to them,"

Nice reporting, terrible journalism...you aren't supposed to contradict yourself.

one whiskey one bourbon one beer

this phone looks ****

I bought a Epic Touch 4G and I love it. That said this guys mod messes up the screen while charging at the moment so its not functional yet.

That said just imagine how awesome a webOS slab could of been. * sigh *

that's a big slab people....my pre2 and touchpad combo is a webOS lovers dream...somone pinch me.....

well a pre3 and touchpad would be a wet dream I guess