LAS VEGAS — Few platforms have gone through as much drama as WebOS, which was developed by Palm to take on Apple’s iOS but was unceremoniously dumped by HP after it ran away screaming from its Palm acquisition.
Now WebOS’s newest owner, Korean electronics giant LG, is giving the platform a second (or perhaps third?) wind by building the operating system into its smart televisions. Today at its press conference at the huge 2014 International CES trade show, LG officially unveiled its WebOS TV platform, which focuses on simplicity for setup, application switching, and content discovery.
Though LG only showed off a few demo videos, its WebOS TV interface looks slick and appears to move fast. I’ve long waited for a TV platform that can multitask as well as a modern tablet, and it looks like WebOS could finally make that happen for LG. The company also showed off a simple setup process, which featured a cartoony bird and clear setup instructions.
LG plans to put WebOS in 56 percent of its new LED and LCD TVs this year. That’s a surprisingly strong push for a new platform, and it shows that LG thinks it has something truly special. The photo below also shows a large app and game store for its WebOS platform.
LG trotted out Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to praise the WebOS platform. Netflix worked together with LG to bring its service to the company’s Blu-ray players five years ago, and it sounds like the companies are once again collaborating on the new WebOS app. Hastings revealed that Netflix’s popular series House of Cards will be available on LG’s 4K HDTV sets this year (though we still don’t know how fast your web connection will need to be to stream those huge files).