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Rebooting webOS: how LG rethought the smart TV

On the eve of LG’s launch, I sat down with webOS’s head of product management and design, Itai Vonshak, as well as Colin Zhao, director of product management for LG’s Silicon Valley Lab. As they demoed LG’s new interface to me, I was by turns intrigued, bemused, and doubtful that it was up to the task of convincing people that it would be worth buying a new TV for. Most of all, I was impressed by the clarity of vision behind the new interface. For better or worse, webOS has an opinion about how smart TVs should treat their users, and by all appearances that opinion is executed very, very well. LG is better known for pretty schizophrenic Android skins on its smartphones, so to see the company produce something this coherent was a shock.

It looks quite amazing – but I still find it very hard to be excited over a TV.

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