WebOS may get yet another lease on life, with signs that LG is eying the operating system for smartwatches.
Evidence of WebOS for smartwatches turned up on LG’s developer website, where it was spotted by The Verge. But the pages were light on details, and LG has since removed them. The company then told The Verge that “there are many initiatives going on at LG at any given moment. The majority of them never see the light of day.”
What it means: At this point, the prospect of a WebOS smartwatch is more amusing than intriguing. The operating system is now on its third owner since 2008, having been built by Palm, acquired by HP and finally flipped to LG last year. While the version of WebOS that LG built for televisions is slick, it’s barely recognizable as the operating system that powered Palm’s final run of smartphones.
Covering the bases
LG is already making smartwatches based on Android Wear, Google’s own wearable platform. The LG G Watch launched in July, and the round-faced LG G Watch R is coming later this month. But just as Samsung uses both Android Wear and Tizen for its Gear smartwatch line, LG may have entertained the thought of controlling its own operating system.
Still, as GigaOM reported in August, the WebOS team appears to be a shambles, with the company’s software efforts undermined by questionable corporate policies. Earlier that month, two high-profile WebOS designers left LG and joined smartwatch maker Pebble, which has been on a roll lately with price cuts and firmware improvements.
Given that it’s unclear exactly what a WebOS watch would bring to the table, or whether it’ll even see the light of day, nostalgic Palm fans ought to keep their expectations low.