LG has announced a new version of its WebOS operating system will grace its 2015 line of televisions bringing with it a host of new improvements and enhancements over the current offering.
We've been playing with the new features to see what difference they make to your TV viewing if you opt to go for LG this year when it comes to buying a new television.
A quick recap
WebOS was originally the operating system used by Palm for its smartphone range and was sold to LG when that plan didn't work out. In 2014 we saw our firs WebOS powered smart TV and even John Lewis in the UK opted to use the interface for its own-brand of televisions powered by LG.
The main focus of the WebOS operating system is to try and integrate all the smart features and channel hoping between different input devices into the core of the user interface. So rather than just a menu screen that says Input 1 or Input 2, inputs like Netflix or your PS4 are sitting alongside regular channels clearly labeled.
Faster boot up time
WebOS is now a lot quicker to turn on, 60 per cent quicker, and seeing it in action first hand start up times have been drastically speeded up. LG hasn't said whether that's because of new processors in the television or general software improvements and efficiency, but it is noticeably better. LG says that the speed enhancements are across the board too meaning switching from the Smart TV Home Screen to YouTube, for example, is 70 per cent faster.
No major design changes
It turns out people who are already using WebOS really like it how it is laid out on the screen. Because of that, LG aren't changing the user interface at all, merely adding new features.
Numbers on the magic remote
What is changing, for the better however, is that LG has added a number keypad to the magic remote it uses to let you move the cursor around the screen.
It means that you can finally ditch the need to still have the second bigger normal looking remote that LG ships in the box on the sofa and should make things a lot more seamless when it comes to controlling your TV. One remote to rule them all and all that.
LG has yet to confirm whether current WebOS TV owners will be able to buy the remote to work with last year's televisions, but we hope so.
My Channels, Quick Settings, and Input Picker
New to webOS 2.0 is My Channels. It allows users to customise their favourite live TV channels or set-top box channels on the Launcher Bar for greater convenience.
Also new is Quick Settings, which lets viewers adjust their TV without interrupting the program they’re watching, and Input Picker that allows connected devices to be recognised instantly for immediate use. Every little bit helps.
LG Content Store
The Content Store has been tweaked as well. Gone is the distracting live TV window (you are here to buy says LG) and in is a more stylised look to the content you are browsing.
The store is clear and simple to use with plenty of details added about the films or TV shows listed.
Quick access menu
A new drop down quick access menu that appears from the top of the screen rather like the notifications panel on Android now lets you get it key areas quickly whether that's gaming, live TV, or streamed content.
Still to come - Top Picks
Although not available at launch, LG has also demoed a new recommendations feature called Top Picks that will suggest content for you to watch from all the subscription services you've signed up for be it Amazon Instant Prime Video or Netflix.
LG also says that studios and TV stations will be able to advertise within the system to recommend you content you might be interested in based on what you've previously watched. Thing Netflix recommendations, but for all your streaming services.
Updates to current range?
LG has yet to confirm whether the 2014 range will get the new features or not, but judging on what we've seen, there doesn't seem to be any hardware specific features that would stop the company rolling it out to current TV rather than just the new ones. Fingers Crossed.