Of all the failed smartphone platforms I’ve seen over the years, webOS’s death was the most tragic because it really was a wonderfully intuitive platform that was especially good for multitasking. Ever since Palm got bought out by HP, which subsequently sold webOS to LG, the platform has basically been dead although it always pops up every now and then running on a TV or a washing machine. However, a great video of LG’s Watch Urbane LTE has me thinking that webOS might have a 17th life as a wearables platform.
The video, which was posted by 9to5Google’s Dom Esposito, shows off the Watch Urbane LTE’s main interface that lets you cycle through apps by making a circular motion around the device’s perimeter. What I particularly like about this is that, unlike Android Wear, the webOS-based platform LG is using was designed for circular watches, thus eliminating some of the issues we’ve seen crop up on round Android Wear-based watches such as the Moto 360.
And that’s not all: Esposito says that LG’s watch platform actually lets you do things that you can’t do on Android Wear.
“Unlike Android Wear, the navigation and UI is completely different and intuitive which pairs well with its round display,” he explains. “Samsung has also moved into self-sufficient smartwatches with the Gear S which runs Tizen, but LG’s move is much cleaner and seems to be a better performer overall. Most daily tasks such as making calls, creating and responding to text messages, check email, and more can be accomplished on the Watch Urbane LTE,”
Of course, the reason this platform is still likely doomed is because of app development. LG doesn’t have the reach of an Apple or a Google to cultivate a massive developer base so it’s hard to see webOS working on smartwatches in the long run.
Nonetheless, you should check out Esposito’s full video below. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good webOS looks on your wrist.