webOS, it lives

Several months ago, my family and I purchased an Ultra HD television from LG, the LG UHD TV 4K 65”. Upon closer inspection of the box, I saw that the television runs webOS. Really? webOS? I didn’t think it was still a thing.

 LG UHD TV 4K 65"

LG UHD TV 4K 65"

I first learned about webOS was when Palm introduced the Palm Pre, all the way back in 2009. The Palm Pre was a new mobile phone designed to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Google Android devices. It ran a brand new operating system that introduced a number of revolutionary ideas for smartphones.

Palm Pre, photo from Engadget

webOS, based on Linux, offered a fresh approach to small-screen user interfaces. The operating system incorporated a number of swipe guestures, multitasking, and a card interface for switching between apps and interacting with live app content, right in the cards. The tech world was excited and optimistic about the future of the Palm Pre and webOS.

Shortly after Palm’s announcement, Engadget published Palm Pre: everything you ever wanted to know. Read it, as the title says, to learn more.

Of course, I headed to Wikipedia’s webOS page to discover how webOS made its way into the hands of LG. The short story is that HP acquired Palm in 2010 for $1.2 billion. In 2011, HP announced plans to install webOS on desktop and notebook computers, but that never happened. Later in 2011, HP announced plans to sell off webOS, and to make it open source. LG entered the story in 2013, when HP announced a licensing deal. The deal would let LG run webOS on its smart TVs.

Learn more about LG Smart TV with webOS.

As a person who purchased an HD television in 2010, I wasn't in the market for a smart TV and wouldn't learn of these webOS developments until seven years later.

LG Smart TV webOS Interface