In February 2013, LG Electronics acquired webOS from HP to enhance their Smart TV platform. And enhance they did. Less than one year later, LG unveiled their second Smart TV platform at CES 2014 with the first iteration of LG webOS. While it may not have been the smartphone webOS fans (myself and Patrick included), it was nice to see it resurrected in a new form, nonetheless. The simple and intuitive interface won over many tech journalists. CNET even called it one of the best smart TV platforms yet. One year later, at CES 2015, LG’s webOS 2.0 was unveiled, bringing faster boot up times (something webOS was notoriously bad with on the mobile platform), a better magic remote, and new features like My Channels and Quick Settings. Later in 2015, those with webOS 1.0 TVs had the ability to update their TV’s OS to 2.0. This time around, in two weeks at CES 2016, LG is going to show off the third iteration of the webOS Smart TV platform.
LG webOS 3.0 is set to offer three new “magic” features, according to the press release: Magic Zoom, Magic Mobile Connection, and an upgraded Magic Remote. Magic Zoom is, well, a magical zoom. It allows the user to magnify letters and objects without sacrificing picture quality. The amount of zoom possible is yet to be known. Magic Mobile Connects will let users connect their phone to the TV via the LG TV Plus app (available on iOS and Android) and display mobile apps on your TV. Whether this is a direct mirroring like you’d get with Android/Chromecast or iOS/Apple TV, we’re not sure. That’ll most likely be answered next month. The new Magic Remote makes it easier to control your set-top box (STB) with additional “power” and “menu” buttons for your STB, as well as DVR controls for your STB.
webOS 3.0 also brings Channel Plus to the table. Channel Plus will help make the line between live broadcasts and over-the-top content by allowing you to surf through the channels the same way you would on a normal TV. There’s a pretty decent handful of other features, like a music app that lets you play music through the TV speakers even when the TV is off, multi-view that allows you to watch two sources at once, and the IoTV app that allows you to control compatible smart appliances from your TV.
This announcement does come very shortly after the unfortunate layoffs at LG’s Silicon Valley Lab.While LG says that this won’t affect negatively impact webOS development, that’ll be up for debate once CES 2017 comes around with the next iteration of LG’s webOS.
Want more info? There’s tons of it on the press release in page two.