LG opens its WebOS platform to other TV manufacturers, could give Android TV some serious competition | Digit2 min read


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LG has announced that its WebOS platform will now be available on TVs that are not made by LG. The South Korean tech giant has announced that the WebOS TV platform ecosystem will be licensed to other brands. More than 20 TV manufacturers from around the world have “committed to the webOS partnership, including brands such as RCA, Ayonz and Konka with more partners expected to join in the future”. 

At CES 2021, LG unveiled WebOS 6, the newest version of its TV OS which will be available on LG’s 2021 TV lineup. 

Will LG WebOS 6 be licensed to OEMs?

According to the Verge, “the “powered by webOS TV” platform is based on webOS 5.0. So it’ll look just the same as LG TVs from the last several years”. While this is the same UI we have seen on TVs like the LG GX (review) and LG C9 (review), it is still a good and fluid UI for TVs. It has a card like layout which occupies the bottom of the screen giving you access to apps and services. 

LG’s WebOS offers access to a voice assistant and also supports LG’s Magic Remote which makes navigating the UI a breeze. The UI also has a home dashboard, letting you control smart home appliances from the comfort of the TV. You can also configure IFTTT devices to the home dashboard.  

In India, we have a lot of budget TVs dominated by Android TV UI. We have also seen some TVs like the Akai 43-inch TV (review) running on the Fire TV UI. Xiaomi offers customers PatchWall and Android TV UI. It will be interesting to see how LG’s WebOS competes with Android, especially in the budget segment, where we have seen Android TV lag on some TVs. While Android TVs do have the advantage of the app ecosystem, we may see more developers optimizing and porting their apps to WebOS to ensure a wider reach.

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