Since LG informed the world that webOS is coming to 70 percent of its smart TVs this year, naturally we were keen to take it for a spin. So, when they offered to let us take it for a spin, and have Director of Product Management Colin Zhao and Head of Product Management and Design Itai Vonshak walk us through the new UI, we jumped at the chance. And, not only did we get to see it in action, we also learned a bit about the philosophy behind LG's move to webOS on the big screen.
For folks thinking LG's version of webOS might favor its prior mobile implementation, think again. While the underpinnings are the same, the card-based UI has been ditched -- according to Vonshak "content is king on the television, and we didn't want to pull the user out of the viewing experience" by dumping them into an all-card view. When you hit the home button on the remote, you're greeted by a rail of parallelogram-shaped colorful icons at the bottom of the screen overlaid on top of whatever you're watching. Those icons include a Today recommendation engine (provided by an unnamed third party) that shows content popular with the viewing public, plus any and all content sources available to the TV, be it online video, localized media, live TV, gaming console or media streamer. Naturally, Netflix is red, Hulu is green, Roku is purple and so on. As you'll see in our video below, navigate the menu to the left and you're greeted by panes that show your viewing history. Slide to the right within the menu and you'll see the rest of your video sources that couldn't fit on the home screen. Speaking of, that home screen comes with a preselected set of apps, but it's completely customizable by the user.