WebOS 2.0 upgrade promised for 2014 LG Smart TVs

If TV makers have been having a hard time selling their units, they might face even more hesitation about their Smart TVs once people realize what they're getting. Or, in this case, what they're not getting. The promise of a smart TV really only holds if the software running inside it is powerful, fast, and up to date. Sadly, that is not the case for many of these types of TVs. For example, it has taken LG this long to offer a WebOS 2.0 upgrade for its 2014 Smart TVs, and it won't even becoming until sometime later this year.

To be fair, some smartphones get updated even far longer than that, but Smart TV updates are so rare, even the paid ones, that you might wonder about their practicality. LG's brought out its WebOS 1.0 toting Smart TV's at CES 2014 last year. By the end of the year, WebOS 2.0 had come out for a new breed of LG TVs. If LG keeps up its pace, it might not be until much later in 2015 when the first generation would get their turn. LG only gave a generic "second half of 2015" target.

But what's so special about WebOS 2.0 anyway? Perhaps the most important feature of this update is the massive speed improvement it brings to the table. The 2015 line of Smart TVs were already faster due to their newer hardware, but WebOS 2.0 has as much to do about that as well. The OS is advertised to be almost two times faster than the previous version, which is critical in something like a Smart TV. Other new features include My Channels and input selection.

That said, LG is at least offering this update for free. It's rival Samsung, in contrast, charges for upgrades, mainly through "Evolution Kits". Smart TV owners, then, are practically buying a device extension that will bring their Smart TVs to the present age.

Then again, regular updates were probably never part of the promise of these smart TVs, which reinforces the question of their significance and practicality. There are a growing number of set-top boxes that offer mostly the same features and might have even more. Plus, they are more flexible and get updated more regularly. With the advent of Android TV, which Sony has embraced for its own Smart TVs, LG and Samsung might have an even harder time trying to sell their WebOS and Tizen powered products.