Long after HP scrapped webOS as a platform for Palm smartphones and tablets, LG is still using the technology it used in 2013 to run applications and manage voice assistants on new smart TVs. While continuing to maintain an open source edition, LG has just confirmed that it will open up the webOS ecosystem for other manufacturers to use, naming RCA, Ayonz, and Konka as some of the joining brands. An earlier report also mentioned Blaupunkt.
LG Home Entertainment President Park Hyoung-sei said in a statement: “By welcoming other manufacturers to join the webOS TV ecosystem, we are embarking on a new path that enables many new TV owners experience the same great user experience and features that are available on LG TVs. ” Panels made by LG Display are already used by other manufacturers, so expanding the availability of their software can be a simple task.
So far, no other top-tier manufacturer is mentioned joining this deal, but it adds another option to the mix for lower-priced smart TVs already running Android, Roku, or Amazon’s Fire TV. This could also benefit people who buy LG TVs as it creates a wider audience. Streaming services can prioritize the platform for new apps and features, if they weren’t already.
According to The edge, licensees will start running webOS 5.0, the latest version for which their SDK is publicly available, rather than the latest version which removes the blade launcher entirely for a more traditional look. Park Hyoung-sei said version 6.0 is “the most significant update since we first introduced webOS in 2014,” so hopefully it will be widely available sooner rather than later.