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Wearing LG's webOS smartwatch made me happy

A few customizations for Audi aren't enough to hide the glory of webOS

I don't know what to say. What I just experienced was inexplicable. After Android Central revealed the news that Audi's car-unlocking smartwatch (built by LG) runs webOS, I made an immediate dash to the nearby stand of TTs and asked the friendly German demo dude if I could borrow his watch for a moment. More surprising than his consent was the actual software running on this watch: it's webOS with a level of maturity and polish that betrays the fact LG has been working on the UI for quite a while. The animations are smooth and fast, and the look is tailored to fit a round watch face.

The watch has a circular app navigation menu, a slick and circular calendar app, and a quick settings menu that's also best viewed on a round screen. Audi's participation in this timepiece is limited to a branded watch face and an app that unlocks the car door via NFC. Sure, the patterned leather, machined crown, and buttons are also slight deviations from the original LG G Watch R, but this is a classic endorsement of somebody else's technology: what we are looking at isn't an Audi watch, it is the LG webOS smartwatch.

It took me a few moments to get my bearings with the unfamiliar interface, but this whirlwind encounter with the world's first webOS smartwatch leads me to want more of them. Many more. Unlike the G Watch R, whose design this is based on, the webOS watch also has cellular connectivity. It has a phone dialer (unfortunately it's not rotary) and a messaging app built in. The ability to integrate a cellular radio may be a big reason for why LG went with webOS over Android Wear on this Audi watch. One thing's for sure: a few minutes with this watch have made me happier than weeks spent in the company of its Android Wear competitors.

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