Open Letter to LG #1

Dear LG,

I recently saw a video showing early stages of webOS running on an LG TV emulator with the use of Project Ares.  Regardless of how that video came to light it was a great morale boost for the webOS community.  Our OS lives!

You’ve had webOS now for almost 9 months.  When you purchased it you were fairly open with your decision and gave hope to fans of the OS that we would see it live on in the future.  Of course, the future you planned was in Smart TVs due out in 2014.  To be honest, I’m ok with that especially since you had some great things to say about the superiority of the user experience over Android and did not rule out mobile devices in the future.

I think I speak for the community of webOS fans when I say that we would love to see it on future mobile devices but understand that while webOS is being developed for TVs, segmenting development at this stage would most likely hamper both areas.  Not good.

But I write to you today not to beg for a new webOS phone, tablet or smartwatch.  I write because I think you need to hear about failure.  On a certain level, Palm failed webOS long ago.  Attribute it to a bad release, not enough developer support, buggy updates, a 3rd place cellular carrier, or the misalignment of the planets, I really don’t care.  HP faired no better, unfortunately.  Lackluster hardware, a misinformed CEO, and no market backbone all culminated to the death of webOS progression.  But now it rests in your hands.  So in an attempt to help you from making the same mistakes Palm and HP made here is a small list of things for you to consider proir to releasing your first LG webOS TV:

1.  If you expect to have an “app store” do NOT fill it with quality apps AFTER the release.  I cannot be more clear than that.

2.  The power of what is currently webOS lies in the community that primarily exists over at  Join NOW, post OFTEN and OPENLY.  This group of UNPAID VOLUNTEERS will be your biggest supporters and largest feedback group.  It would be FOOLISH to ignore this cornucopia of potential information and help.  Conversely, if you do not support the community, we will not support you.  This includes the vast remainder of webOS developers which depending on your “app plan” could make or break you from the start.

3.  Current webOS devices, albeit antiquated by the market, should be able to pair to webOS TVs on DAY ONE.  If that means you need to develop a “remote control app” and make it available through the HP App Catalog then DO NOT WAIT to build that app.  And release it EARLY.  It will cause a buzz and get folks excited for the release.  You only stand to increase sales and it simultaneously shows support to the community.  As a side note, you should also build the app for other platforms.  Mass support?  Mass buy-in.

4.  Current Palm Profiles hold a LOT of information.  As a webOS user I should be able to sign into my Palm Profile on the TV and see contacts, synergy accounts, and more right from the TV.  It IS a Smart TV after all, right?

I mean it when I say “good luck”.  A quick web search for the words “webos failure” gives a lot of hits.  That means you have your work cut out for you.  The stigma is already out there.  To put webOS in the name of something you will provide to a modern market is gutsy to say the least.

Thanks for giving webOS a chance and thanks for actively developing for it.  It truly is great to see a successful company like LG realizing what webOS really is:  powerful, smart, and a real users OS.



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