LG to launch its first webOS smartwatch in early 2016
LG may be building its own Android Wear smartwatches already, but that hasn’t stopped the South Korean company from developing new wearables powered by its own webOS platform. Sources familiar with its plans say we can expect to see the first of those devices in early 2016.
“We’re going to slowly try to build an (software) ecosystem around areas we can have more control over,” an unnamed source told The Wall Street Journal at CES 2015 in Las Vegas.
In contrast, Android Wear — unlike the Android platform for phones and tablets — has tight restrictions around customizability. While Google wants third parties to adopt its new platform, it also wants to provide users with a familiar and standardized experience no matter which device they choose. As a result, Google has banned third-party launchers, skins, and other tweaks.
LG, which acquired the webOS platform from HP last February, has already begun using the software for its latest batch of Smart TVs. But the last time we saw webOS running on a mobile device was when HP launched its Pre 3 smartphone and TouchPad tablet back in 2011. Months later, the company announced it was giving up on its entire lineup of webOS devices.
We first heard about LG’s webOS smartwatch plans back in October, when the company began promoting a new software development kit for the device on its own website. The pages were pulled shortly after they made news around the web, and LG warned that while there are “many initiatives going on at LG at any given moment,” most of them “never see the light of day.”