CES 2015 has been an insane ride, but the craziest news out of the show wasn't even an announcement: the LG smartwatch that Audi was using to control their autonomous car runs webOS. Yes. webOS. On a watch. In a week that brought us the news that TCL is resurrecting the Palm brand and the latest webOS TV's from LG, we also get webOS expanding to a new platform: the wrist.
Yes, at CES 2015, we're writing about Kodak, Palm, and webOS. It's like a tech episode of the Twilight Zone. The reveal of the smartwatch came as a surprise, with an Audi executive revealing the watch as being from LG and using it briefly in his demo, but not saying much more about it. The assumption was that it was running Android Wear, but our friends at Android Central decided to dig in to the watch and found that it was in fact not Android Wear.
Google's imposed strict restrictions on the customizations that can be made to Android Wear, so the more we looked at it the more curious we became. It was clearly not Android Wear, and then we ended up deep in the settings and saw something amazing: webOS Version Open webOS.
It. Runs. webOS.
LG's teased webOS smartwatches before, but never made a public statement on where they would next expand webOS beyond their TVs.
Most interesting is that the watch has a number of LG's custom apps built in, including apps for calendar, dialer, messages, email, and more. It even sports NFC and a cellular radio. Yes. This thing is a ready-to-go webOS portable.
We hate to be speculative (that's a lie, we love it), but everything here indicates that LG is working hard to make a device that's thoroughly capable of operating independently, and has the makings of a proper modern webOS smartphone.
In a world where Samsung's ported their Tizen OS from smartwatches to smart televisions, LG is bringing their webOS smart TV OS to portable devices. It's a mad mad world, and we're excited to find out even more about what LG has in store for webOS.
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