There’s a trend here. After Samsung and Vizio, LG is also adding support for Apple’s ecosystem to its TV operating system webOS. Specifically, people who buy an LG TV in 2019 should be able to share content to their TVs using AirPlay 2. TVs will also be compatible with HomeKit, letting you create custom scenarios and control your TV using Siri.
“Many of our customers may also happen to have Apple devices,” Senior Director of Home Entertainment Product Marketing Tim Alessi said during the company’s CES press conference. “LG has been working with Apple as well to create a streamlined user experience. So I’m very pleased to announce today that we’re adding Apple AirPlay to our 2019 TVs.”
If you have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, you can send video content to your TV using the AirPlay icon in your favorite video app. You can also mirror your display in case you want to show some non-video content.
2019 LG TVs also support AirPlay audio, which means that you can send music and podcasts on your TV, pair your TV with other AirPlay 2-compatible speakers.
New LG TVs also support HomeKit. It means that you can add your TV to the Home app on your iOS device and Mac. After that, you can control basic TV features from the Home app. You can also assign Siri keywords so that you can manage your TV using Siri on your iOS device or HomePod.
HomeKit support lets you create custom actions. For instance, you can say “Hey Siri, turn on the TV” and have Siri turn on the TV and dim your Philips Hue lights.
Unlike Samsung, LG didn’t announce an iTunes app. So you can’t rent or buy movies and TV shows straight from your TV. Buying something from your phone and then using AirPlay is still a bit clunky.
LG also said that 2019 TVs come with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support. But this is less surprising as you can find hundreds of devices that support those voice assistants.
Finally, the company is adding a home dashboard to control a wide variety of home devices from your TV. Details are still thin on this feature. It’s unclear whether LG will roll out some of all of these software features to old TVs.
Watching all TV manufacturers add AirPlay and HomeKit support one by one reminds me of the year TV manufacturers all announced native Netflix apps for their TV. It’s clear that Apple is following in Netflix’s footsteps and opening up. Apple has been working on a subscription-based streaming service for months. And the company wants to support as many devices as possible.