Gawd, so many mobile operating systems have come and gone over the years – MeeGo, Symbian, Firefox OS (is that still a thing?) – that we’d almost forgotten about poor old webOS.
Last we heard, webOS was sold to LG for use in Smart TVs, but the South Koreans are seemingly resurrecting the OS for smartwatches. What the…?
To say the webOS journey has been a strange one would be Understatement of the Week. It was initially developed by Palm, and in its dying days fuelled both the HP Pre3 smartphone and HP TouchPad tablet in 2011.
HP ultimately pulled the plug on webOS shortly thereafter, before promising to make it an open source OS to rival Android. Seriously, Google’s OS was – we were told – comparatively “closed”. But we all know how that went.
In 2013, LG made the baffling announcement that it had acquired the touch-focused operating system for use in Smart TVs, and I’ll never forget this fantastic quote: “Asked to name the core benefit of the webOS platform for Smart TVs, Dr. Ahn (LG’s Chief Technology Officer) simply remained silent for 10 seconds.” Haha! Brilliant stuff.
Fast-forward to October 2014 and LG has “accidentally” leaked the news that webOS will be used on smartwatches (on a couple of webpages since pulled). To be fair, it makes much more sense than on Smart TVs, and Samsung has Tizen-based wearables, so why the heck not? Good to keep your non-Android options open and all that.
LG hasn’t said anything official for now, but it’s like a kid at Christmas when it comes to new stuff, so we can probably expect a press release or whatever in the coming weeks. Stay tooned.