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LG Debuts Major Upgrade to webOS

LG Electronics' webOS 6.0
(Image credit: LG Electronics)

Korea’s LG Electronics, the No. 4 seller of smart TVs to the U.S., controlling around 12% of the market, announced Monday a major upgrade to the operating system controlling those sets. 

Version 6.0 of webOS will power LG’s OLED, QNED Mini LED, NanoCell and UHD smart TVs. The software will be paired with an upgrade to the remote control packaged with these sets, dubbed Magic Remote. 

The previous iteration of webOS featured a simple shortcuts bar with apps, HDMI destinations and other key data on the bottom of the screen, letting users see the programming as they worked the OS. Users could select, say, a specific streaming app from the shortcuts bar, and another row of data would appear, highlighting what was on that service.

For webOS 6.0, the software now has a full, dedicated home screen, like most other OS platforms--a homogenization notably lamented by a reviewer for The Verge, who preferred the simplicity of the previous iteration. 

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Programming recommendations sit above a horizontal row of favorite apps. Other horizontally configured lists, such as live TV picks, unfurl below the apps list. 

"The new home screen provides faster access to the most frequently used apps and streamlines content discovery with the ability to receive recommendations based on the user’s preferences and viewing history,” LG said in its announcement. 

WebOS 6.0 will support voice commands for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. 

The new Magic Remote, meanwhile, includes dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and LG’s curated channel. 

“The latest version of our user-friendly open TV platform webOS 6.0 represents the most significant update since we first introduced webOS in 2014,” said Park Hyoung-sei, president of LG Home Entertainment, in a statement. “With the new edition of webOS, LG is demonstrating its commitment of offering services, products and technologies that respond to the needs and wants of our valued customers.”