LG revives webOS for new Smart TVs

It’s been a while since we saw anyone use HP and Palm’s webOS platform, with the entire thing really dying with the HP TouchPad. LG has found a use, though, and it’s for some upcoming TVs.

The next generation of LG’s Smart TVs will rely on the next generation of an operating system that hasn’t graced consumer devices in quite some time.

Last year, LG acquired webOS from HP and found a use for it, re-developing the platform to work in televisions, which LG says “offers an intuitive user interface for an experience that is both seamless and refreshingly uncomplicated.”

“We are extremely excited to be able to introduce webOS optimised for LG Smart TV here at CES 2014,” said LG Australia’s Lambro Skropidis, General Manager of Marketing.

“The beauty of webOS is that it provides so much freedom, and is so simple to use. We feel confident that consumers will find navigating, exploring and switching between different forms of content on webOS a truly enjoyable, non-frustrating, experience.”

The new webOS Smart TV platform will be put into more than 70 percent of LG’s 2014 range of Smart TVs, and will feature an on-screen animated character to help customers through setting up the TV.

LG has kept its motion-based Magic Remote around for another year, which means controlling the TV will be handled through shaking the remote around and pointing at various things on screen.

With webOS engaged, the interface will sit along the bottom of the screen in a horizontal scrollable menu that makes it possible to quickly jump between online content, broadcast content, and content stored on your own network and external devices. A “live menu” also exists on the platform, which makes it easy to access these features while you’re already watching a program.

The inclusion of webOS is certainly an interesting one for LG, and while we haven’t heard exactly if or when Australia will be getting Smart TVs supporting this operating system, we’re curious to see how many developers engage with this.

With a new operating system, apps will have to be remade for the platform, including local apps such as the ABC iView app and catch-up TV offerings from other Australian players. LG has said that there is a “comprehensive collection of apps” in its LG Store, and this included games, movies, and 3D content, while developers will also be able to make applications for the webOS platform, as well.

Availability isn’t yet known, but with since the regular switch-over of old models to new ones generally happens in March or April, we’d look for the new devices around this time. Otherwise, stay tuned, because we’ll likely have more details on LG’s webOS TVs soon enough.