PIC may not be a familiar name when it comes to software development, but the company hopes to change that by announcing a Kickstarter campaign to fund a port of the Android Application Compatibility Layer runtime from OpenMobile, picking up from where the latter company left off when the HP TouchPad was unceremoniously killed off in August 2011, leaving OpenMobile no choice but to abandon the port of the runtime due to the elimination of development and hardware support for the TouchPad, the last vestiges of which were completed with the acquisition of the webOS properties and infrastructure by LG earlier this year.
The ACL runtime by OpenMobile allows for the use of Android applications regardless of actual host platform, in theory acting as an instant compatibility layer that allows the use of all Android apps with no penalty in terms of performance. The campaign is seeking $35,000 in order to complete what remains of the work, which was already at an advanced alpha stage when it was halted by OpenMobile in 2012.
PIC is pitching the campaign as the best way for current HP TouchPad owners to get the most out of their tablets, as HP’s own App Catalog lacks many of the key popular applications that are in common use, and the lack of application depth has forced the remaining ownership to dual-boot Android in order to take advantage of the vast application depth, at the expense of giving up access to key webOS features, some which are still superior to current Android, such as multitasking support and its Synergy email client on top of complete hardware support. The campaign runs until May 23rd with reward tiers at different pledge levels.
As an incentive to drive pledges for the runtime, PIC is promising an aggressive development timeline when/if the funding goal is completed, with a target launch date for the complete software set for July 2013, as development is already underway.