The smart TV scene may be increasingly the preserve of affordable set-top boxes like Chromecast and Fire TV, but LG isn’t giving up on its webOS plans, pushing out the tools it hopes will encourage developers to get onboard. Freshly released, the webOS TV SDK will allow developers to cook up apps for LG’s sets, test them on a TV emulator, and then package them up for distribution to the new app store.
The SDK supports Windows, Mac, and Linux environments, and comes with a selection of templates to accelerate the coding process.
LG revealed its first webOS TVs back at CES 2014 in January, positioning the platform as ideal for a capable but easy-to-use interface for the living room. In addition to a colorful chip-based UI, LG’s TVs also have animated characters to walk through the setup process and then highlight the various features.
As we found in our brief hands-on time at the launch, one of the upshots is that the interface simply looks appealing. No complex or mismatched graphics, or overwhelming menus, but instead readily-understood menus and thumbnails.
Of course, webOS on tablets like the HP TouchPad had that same sort of visual simplicity, and still failed to make a dent in the market, and so LG needs to make sure the third-party developer community climbs onboard if it wants to succeed.
LG offers sets from 42-inches upwards, with street pricing kicking off at around $500. However, there’s more challengers ahead, with Google expected to reveal its own Android TV platform at Google I/O this week, while Apple is believed to have an Apple TV refresh of its own for later in the year.