LG has something in the cards


A 55-inch connected TV set may not sound like a very mobile device, but if it’s an LG set it may soon look like one. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that LG will introduce a connected TV at CES next week that will run on webOS, the mobile operating system originally developed by Palm, sold to H-P and then acquired in a fire sale in early 2013. According to the Journal’s sources, LG’s revamped version of the webOS UI will revive its signature “cards” system for navigating among multiple applications running simultaneously, a feature since aped by iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

It’s a striking, visual reminder of how quickly the world’s of TV and mobile are converging. With Apple, Google and Microsoft all trying to turn the TV into an extension of their respective mobile ecosystems, LG, which is a major player in mobile handsets but lacks its own mobile ecosystem, is trying to turn its smart TVs into mobile-ized devices on its own terms.

At an event in Seoul in December, LG also said it would revive Palm/HP’s Enyo development efforts, encouraging developers to create apps using the open-source JavaScript framework for cross-platform apps. If it gets buy-in from developers, the Enyo framework would allow those apps to be extended to mobile platforms with minimal effort, creating a sort of virtual TV-mobile ecosystem without LG having to compete directly with iOS, Android and Windows.

LG will hold a press conference on Monday, January 6 at CES.


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