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WebOS Vs Android TV: What are the Differences?

Ishita Banik Published on : 19 November 2021
Differences between WebOS and Android TV

WebOS vs Android TV is a highly discussed topic in the streaming sector. In this era of smart TVs, Android TV and WebOS are two of the most popular names you must have heard frequently.  While both of these are operating systems for smart TVs and have many of the features in common in an obvious way, they are quite different from each other. 

No matter whether you are operating in the streaming industry or love to stream on smart TVs, you should know the differences between WebOS and Android TV to make better decisions. And in this blog we will give you a clear idea on this.

So, first let’s see what are these WebOS and Android TVs?

 

What is an Android TV?

An Android TV is a smart TV operating system that is based on Android and developed by Google for digital media players, television sets, set-top boxes etc. An Android TV lets the users get access to various apps, and content they get on their Android phones. 

Starting from streaming apps like Netflix to single player, multi-player, online and offline gaming, voice search- users can experience the enhanced version of all available in Android phones in the big screen through Android TVs. 

People often tend to confuse Google TV and Android TV. Note that Google TV delivers content, recommendations etc., while Android TV is the platform on which they get delivered. Simply put, Android TV is a smart TV platform built by Google around the Android OS (Operating System) where the users can stream both paid and free content online.

 

What is a WebOS?

WebOS is a Linux based smart TV operating system. LG WebOS lets the users get access and control to the more advanced features and connected devices through a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Initially, WebOS was developed as a mobile OS by Palm in 2009 and since that time it has been used in many Palm and HP smartphones. However, LG purchased it in 2013 and modified it as a smart TV operating system.

 

WebOS Vs Android TV: The Key Differences 

 So, Google’s Android TV and LG’s WebOS are two of the most popular smart TV operating systems in the market. And before you opt for one, there are a set of differences you need to be aware of-

1. WebOS Vs Android TV: Operating System

WebOS, developed by LG Electronics, is an operating system specifically designed for smart TVs. It gained acclaim for its user-friendly interface and streamlined navigation. One of its standout features is the “Card” system, where open apps are represented as cards on the screen, allowing users to switch between them effortlessly. WebOS emphasizes simplicity and ease of use, making it an attractive option for those seeking a straightforward and intuitive smart TV experience.

Android TV, on the other hand, is an iteration of the Android operating system optimized for television displays. Developed by Google, Android TV offers a familiar interface for users already accustomed to Android smartphones and tablets. 

It boasts a vast app ecosystem through the Google Play Store, providing access to a wide range of applications, including streaming services, games, and productivity tools. The voice-controlled Google Assistant integration adds a convenient dimension to Android TV, enabling users to search for content and control the TV using voice commands.

2. WebOS Vs Android TV: Apps & Ecosystem

WebOS has made significant strides in expanding its app ecosystem, especially in the realm of streaming services. Popular apps are readily available, ensuring a robust entertainment experience. Some of the popular apps are –

Entertainment:

  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Disney+
  • YouTube

Music Streaming:

  • Spotify
  • Pandora

News and Information:

  • BBC News
  • CNN
  • Reuters
  • HuffPost

To name a few.

However, where WebOS may lag behind Android TV is in the broader range of third-party apps. While it covers essential categories like entertainment, music, and web browsing, it might not have the same depth of specialized apps found in the Google Play Store.

Android TV, powered by Google’s ecosystem, boasts a vast and diverse app library through the Google Play Store. This includes an extensive collection of apps such as –  

Entertainment:

  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • YouTube

Music Streaming:

  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Apple Music

Gaming:

  • Google Play Games
  • Stadia (game streaming service)
  • NVIDIA GeForce NOW

Fitness and Health:

  • Fitbit
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Peloton

News and Information:

  • CNN
  • BBC News
  • NPR News
  • Bloomberg

To name a few.

Android TV undoubtedly excels in app variety and depth. It offers a more extensive selection of specialized apps across diverse categories, appealing to a broader range of user interests.

3.WebOS Vs Android TV: Device Compatibility

WebOS is primarily associated with LG Electronics, and it powers LG’s line of smart TVs. While LG has a significant market presence, WebOS is relatively limited in terms of device compatibility. If you opt for a WebOS-powered TV, your experience will be tailored to that specific television brand.

Android TV, developed by Google, offers a more extensive range of device compatibility. It is not limited to a single manufacturer but is adopted by various TV brands, including Sony, Philips, TCL, and more. This broader adoption means that you can find Android TV on smart TVs from different manufacturers, providing you with more options to choose from.

Android TV’s compatibility with multiple TV brands gives consumers the freedom to select a television that aligns with their preferences in terms of design, specifications, and price range. You are not restricted to a specific manufacturer.

Also, Android TV seamlessly integrates with the broader Google ecosystem, including Google Assistant, Google Home, and Chromecast. This interconnectedness enhances the users’ smart home and multimedia experiences, especially if they are already using Google services and devices.

 

Android TV app 

 

4. WebOS Vs Android TV: Voice Control

WebOS integrates voice control through its AI assistant, which is typically referred to as “LG ThinQ AI” or “LG Voice.” WebOS supports basic voice commands for tasks like changing channels, adjusting volume, and launching specific apps. Users can activate voice control by pressing a dedicated button on their remote.

WebOS uses natural language processing to understand and respond to user commands conversationally. This means you can speak naturally rather than using specific phrases or keywords.

LG ThinQ AI extends voice control to LG smart home devices. Users can control compatible appliances, lighting, and more using voice commands through their LG TV.

Android TV, on the other hand, leverages the power of Google Assistant for voice control. Android TV seamlessly integrates with Google Assistant, one of the most advanced virtual assistants available. Users can activate voice control by pressing a dedicated button on their remote or by using a wake word like “Hey Google.”

Google Assistant on Android TV supports a wide range of voice commands, including search queries, content playback control, smart home device control, weather updates, and more. It can answer questions, provide recommendations, and interact with various Google services.

Google Assistant excels at contextual understanding, allowing users to ask follow-up questions or make requests based on previous interactions. This makes voice control more intuitive and flexible.

Chromecast Integration: Android TV’s voice control extends to Chromecast functionality, enabling users to cast content from their mobile devices using voice commands.

5. WebOS Vs Android TV: Learning Curve

WebOS is renowned for its user-friendly and intuitive interface. It was designed with simplicity in mind, making it accessible to users of all technical backgrounds. WebOS features a straightforward navigation system with an uncluttered home screen. It uses a “Card” system for open apps, allowing users to switch between them effortlessly.

The simplicity of WebOS means that users can quickly grasp the basics of operating their smart TV. Basic tasks like changing channels, adjusting volume, and launching apps are straightforward and intuitive.

WebOS incorporates natural language processing for voice commands, allowing users to interact with their TV conversationally. This enhances the user experience and reduces the learning curve associated with voice control.

While WebOS offers a range of smart features, they are presented in a user-friendly manner. Users can easily access streaming services, apps, and device connections without feeling overwhelmed.

Android TV offers a versatile platform with a range of features and customization options. However, the learning curve for Android TV can vary depending on the user’s familiarity with Android and their tech-savviness.

Android TV provides extensive customization options, which can be appealing to tech-savvy users. However, for those less familiar with Android, these options may require some exploration and learning.

Users who are already part of the Google ecosystem may find Android TV’s integration with Google services seamless and familiar. This can reduce the learning curve for tasks like setting up accounts and accessing content.

Android TV’s access to a vast library of apps can be overwhelming for some users. Finding and managing apps may take time for those new to the platform.

6. WebOS Vs Android TV: User Interface

The user interface is the first noticeable factor that distinguishes between an Android TV and WebOS. While both of them have gone through changes over the years to come out to be easily comprehensible, each of them have their unique representation. 

For instance, in WebOS, the list of content appears as a ribbon-like customizable launch bar at the bottom of the screen that contains the list of apps, TV settings, features etc. While in Android TV, the content rows occupy the home screen of the smart TV.  

In Android TV, if one app is opened and you want to open another app, you need to close the first app and go to the home screen. But in the case of WebOS, you can get access to the launch bar anytime you want even if another app is opened. As you can see, it’s easier to navigate in WebOS, but the learning curve is steeper in this case.  Another prominent difference is- the Android TV interface is more similar to the Android smartphones while the WebOS is not so.

 

Also Read: How to Create an Apple TV app?

 

7. WebOS Vs Android TV: Screencasting

Screencasting lets you mirror the content playing on your smart devices to a bigger screen. While all smart TVs have this feature, the technology varies for different operating systems. 

For instance, the SmartShare feature of WebOS lets you watch all the multimedia content on TV. On the other hand, Android TV’s built in Chromecast technology allows you to share content from the apps supporting Chromecast like YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video etc.

 

To Conclude,

Android TV and WebOS – both have their own pros and cons. WebOS has a more simplistic approach in terms of UI, navigation etc., while Android TV comes with its own set of perks like wider options for Google Play apps, sideloading, and others as discussed above. 

However, while opting for Smart TVs, users focus on not only the OS, but design, hardware, price etc. and you should keep this in mind while launching your WebOS or Android TV app.

Muvi, the all-in-one OTT platform provider lets you launch your own fully featured, white labeled Android TV and WebOS app easily. Some of the exclusive perks offered by Muvi include a fully managed solution, full revenue share with you, multiple monetization options & one click set up & launch!

Take a 14-day free trial today to learn better.

 

Android TV app

 

FAQs

  • What is the primary difference between WebOS and Android TV ?

WebOS is an operating system developed by LG specifically for their smart TVs, offering a user-friendly interface. Android TV, on the other hand, is a platform developed by Google, available on various TV brands, providing a more versatile ecosystem with access to the Google Play Store and a broader app selection.

  • How do WebOS and Android TV differ in terms of customization options?

WebOS offers a simpler and more streamlined interface with limited customization options, making it ideal for users who prefer a straightforward experience. In contrast, Android TV provides extensive customization possibilities, allowing streaming businesses to tailor the user experience and integrate third-party apps and services.

  • What are the content discovery capabilities of WebOS and Android TV?

WebOS features content discovery through the LG Content Store and AI-driven recommendations. Android TV, with its Google Assistant integration and universal search, offers more advanced content discovery, enabling users to find content across various apps and services, enhancing engagement for streaming businesses.

  • How do WebOS and Android TV handle software updates and security for streaming apps?

WebOS typically receives updates directly from LG, which may result in slower software updates and security patches. Android TV benefits from Google’s frequent updates, ensuring quicker access to new features and enhanced security, a crucial factor for streaming businesses concerned with app stability and performance.

Written by: Ishita Banik

Ishita is a Content Writer with Muvi Marketing Team. Apart from business writing, she is also an acclaimed author of three best seller romantic thriller novels. In 2020, she got featured in The Hindustan Times, a leading news portal as an inspirational Indian author.

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