Third Party Apps on LG Smart TV WEBOS
LG makes some fantastic televisions, spanning a wide range of prices. One of the standout features of LG TVs is their smart TV platform called webOS, which supports various entertainment apps. However, many people get confused and mix it up with Android TV, Google TV and Fire TV, which offer the option to sideload apps from unofficial sources. But fear not, adventurous souls! We’re here to guide you through the thrilling process of installing third-party apps on LG Smart TV.
Let’s dive into the world of third-party apps on LG Smart TV and uncover the mysteries of webOS customization. But before we embark on this exhilarating journey, let’s clear up some terminology. When we talk about “third-party” apps, we’re referring to apps that are not developed by LG. For example, the Apple TV app is developed by Apple, while Prime Video is brought to you by Amazon. These apps are available on the LG Content Store, which is the official medium for webOS apps and channels.
Now, you might be wondering, “Can I install apps on my LG Smart TV that are not available on the Content Store?” The answer is both yes and no. While webOS doesn’t provide as much user freedom as Android-based Smart TV platforms, it is still possible to sideload third-party apps. However, be prepared to jump through some hoops and face a few limitations along the way. But fear not, brave adventurer! We will guide you through this treacherous path with our step-by-step instructions.
The Safe Way: Developer Mode
If you’re not comfortable with “rooting” your LG Smart TV, which involves gaining elevated system access, the safest way to install third-party apps is by using Developer Mode. This method allows you to sideload homebrew webOS applications without taking unnecessary risks. So grab your developer hat and let’s get started!
Get an LG Developer Portal Account
First, visit developer.lge.com/login using your favorite web browser. Sign in with your LG Account details to access the LG Developer Portal.
A new pop-up browser window will appear, enticing you to “Add LG Service.” Click on it to elevate your account status to LG Developer. This will give you the power to unleash your developer skills on your LG Smart TV.
Prepare Developer Mode on your LG Smart TV
Now, it’s time to switch gears and focus on your LG Smart TV. Using your trusty remote control, navigate to the Home UI by pressing the Home button. From there, select LG Content Store either from the launcher bar or the Apps icon in your apps row.
In the LG Content Store, head to the Search menu and look for the Developer Mode app. Install it and open the app.
Enter your LG account User ID and Password in the app and click Login. Once logged in, enable the Dev Mode Status and confirm that you want to reboot your LG TV.
After the reboot, open the Developer Mode app again from the Home screen and enable the Key Server. Now, take a moment to admire your progress and look to the left side of your TV screen. You should see a Host (IP) Address and Passphrase. Make sure to jot them down on a piece of paper for future reference. You never know when they might come in handy!
Embrace the Adventure with DevMode Manager
Now, it’s time to introduce you to your trusty sidekick, DevMode Manager. Developed under the webOS Homebrew Project by the talented mariotaku on GitHub, this easy-to-use tool will help you sideload third-party apps on your LG Smart TV in developer mode. So put on your virtual cape and head to github.com/webosbrew/dev-manager-desktop/releases from your browser.
Once there, download the latest release of DevMode Manager for your Windows (.msi), macOS (.dmg), or Linux (.AppImage) computer. Install the software, and it will be ready to assist you on your adventurous journey.
Launch the DevMode Manager app after installation. On the left-hand side of the Dev Manager window, you should see the option “+ Add Device” under “More.” Click it and enter the Host Address and Passphrase that you noted down earlier. Give your LG Smart TV a heroic name, and then click Add.
Once the connection is established between your computer and LG webOS TV (make sure they are on the same home network), you are ready to sideload third-party apps. Head to the Dev Manager’s Apps section, and click “Available” at the top to explore the app catalog.
Choose the app you desire and click the Install button. Your LG Smart TV will be graced with the presence of the chosen app after a minute or so. Marvel at your achievement as the app is added to your TV’s Home apps row.
Pro tip: If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can also sideload your own IPK files (extensions for webOS apps) from the Dev Manager’s Apps page by clicking the “Install” option at the top-right corner.
So What’s the Catch?
Ah, the thrill of the adventure! However, every journey has its difficulties, and setting up outside applications on an LG Smart TV is no different. After 50 hours of first activation, LG made the wise decision to deactivate elevated system access in Developer Mode. Simply said, after that period, your ability to access sideloaded apps will be automatically disabled.
But fret not, fellow adventurer! You can prevent this by clicking “Extend” in the Developer Mode app on your TV before LG snatches away your access. If you want an even more straightforward solution, check out this post by user schnills on the XDA Developers forum, where they have shared a way to extend the time limit. Keep in mind that simplicity is the key to a successful adventure!
No Computer? No Problem!
If you find yourself without a trusty computer by your side, don’t despair. There’s still a way to install third-party apps on your LG Smart TV. Once you have successfully enabled Developer Mode on your TV (following the steps mentioned earlier), open the built-in Web Browser.
Type webosapp.club/online into the address bar and hit Enter. You will be greeted by the magical Homebrew Channel app icon. Click on it, and on the following page, click the Install button.
While you’re there, take a moment to browse through the list of applications on the website. Install the DevMode Timer Reset app, which allows you to set a schedule to extend the Dev Mode session once a day. This way, you can keep the adventure going strong!
After rebooting your LG TV, behold the Homebrew Channel on the apps list. Open it, and you’ll find yourself in a treasure trove of third-party apps. Install your desired app and let the fun begin!
Unleash the Power: Root/Jailbreak Your LG Smart TV
For the true adventurers among us, the idea of “rooting” or jailbreaking their LG Smart TV might be too tempting to resist. By gaining elevated system access, you can customize your TV to your heart’s content, and just like me be able to run some ambient light DIY projects. But be warned, brave souls, this path is not without risks and consequences.
RootMyTV, a tool developed by a group of intrepid individuals, offers a way to root/jailbreak LG webOS Smart TVs. It utilizes a chain of exploits that provide you with the freedom to explore the depths of webOS customization. You can find more technical details on their GitHub page if you’re up for the challenge.
It’s important to note that LG patched the vulnerability used by RootMyTV through an OTA firmware update for its webOS TVs last year. So, unfortunately, if your TV is running mid-2022 or newer firmware, you won’t be able to embark on this particular adventure.
The developers behind RootMyTV assure us that while jailbreaking your LG webOS TV doesn’t inherently put it at risk of bricking, it may void your device’s warranty. Supported TVs include models from early 2018 to late 2021 running webOS 4.x – 6.2, with some 2017 models with webOS 3.4 – 3.9 also eligible.
If you know that your TV runs on pre-patched firmware, we present to you the method to root it and unlock the potential for third-party homebrew applications.
If your LG Smart TV runs on pre-webOS 4.0 software.
Follow these steps:
- Navigate to Settings, then Network on your TV.
- Enable the LG Connect Apps option.
- Head to your TV’s Home menu and launch the Web Browser from your apps row.
- In the Search bar, enter https://rootmy.tv and wait for the page to load completely.
- Grab your Magic Remote and drag the slider to the right on the website. If you prefer a different approach, you can also press the “5” button on your remote.
- A security dialog box will appear, tempting you with its allure. Succumb to its charm and click Accept, allowing the exploit to work its magic.
- After your TV goes through the first reboot cycle, prepare yourself for a second round. This time, the purpose is to confirm the installation of the webOS Homebrew Channel, your gateway to the world of third-party apps on your LG TV. Rest assured, heads-up notifications will keep you updated on the exploit’s progress.
Congratulations! A successful RootMyTV exploit not only grants you access to the Homebrew Channel but also prevents auto-firmware updates. While it is possible to re-enable webOS updates from the Homebrew Channel’s Settings menu, we recommend avoiding it. The latest firmware contains fixes for the security vulnerability, and it’s always good to keep your TV protected.
If, by chance, you encounter the dreaded “Denied method call…” error message after running the exploit, it means your LG TV has been patched, and the adventure ends here. The same applies if your TV reboots but fails to install the Homebrew Channel. Alas, the path of this adventure is closed to you.
A World of Possibilities: Installing Third-Party Apps via Homebrew Channel
You’ve made it this far, brave adventurer! Now it’s time to bask in the glory of your triumph and enjoy the spoils of your hard work. Launch the Homebrew Channel (you can’t miss the beer mug icon) from your TV’s Home menu. From there, find the app that has captured your interest and select it. On the preview page, click the Install button, and watch as the app finds its place on your LG Smart TV.
But wait, there’s more! The default webOS Brew Apps Repository (repo.webosbrew.org) on the Homebrew Channel might not offer a vast selection of apps. However, fear not, for there are other repositories out there that you can add manually from the app’s Settings menu. A simple web search will uncover alternative IPK sources, leading you to a treasure trove of apps.
Our Top Picks For Third Party Apps For LG Smart TV
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! We present to you our favorite third-party apps from the webOS Brew Repository, handpicked for your LG Smart TV enjoyment:
- Hyperion.NG ambient lighting service incl. frontend to start/stop/autostart the daemon.To be used in combination with PicCap.
- 3D Pinball – Space Cadet: Remember the thrill of playing the Windows Pinball game back in the 2000s? Well, now you can relive that nostalgia on the big screen of your LG Smart TV with this webOS-ported version. Get ready to launch those steel balls and rack up those high scores!
- Crunchyroll: Anime lovers, rejoice! Don’t be dismayed by the unavailability of the official Crunchyroll app for LG Smart TVs. With this unofficial app, you can stream all your favorite anime series and movies right on your LG Smart TV. Get ready to dive into the world of Japanese animation!
- PicCap is a frontend program that you can put on your TV to make recording TV footage as simple as possible. It deploys and manages the separate hyperion-webos background native service, which leverages reverse-engineered capture interfaces on your TV, processes the output, and sends a low-quality image to a receiver such as Hyperion’s flatbuffer server.
- IHSplay: Are you a hardcore gamer who wants to take your gaming experience to the next level? Look no further than IHSplay, the unofficial Steam Link client for LG webOS TVs. This app allows you to stream your PC games over the network and play them on the big screen. Immerse yourself in the world of gaming like never before!
- Moonlight: If you’re a proud owner of an NVIDIA-powered gaming PC, Moonlight is the app for you. It utilizes NVIDIA GameStream technology to enable high-performance PC game streaming on your LG Smart TV. With support for up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, get ready to experience gaming in all its glory from the comfort of your couch.
- RetroArch: Are you a fan of retro gaming? Do you miss the good old days of classic video games? Well, fret not! RetroArch is here to satisfy your cravings. This powerful emulator brings a plethora of retro games to your LG webOS TV, allowing you to relive the golden age of gaming. Dust off those old cartridges and get ready for a trip down memory lane.
- HyperHDR (Fork of Hyperion.NG) ambient lighting service incl. frontend to start/stop/autostart the daemon. To be used in combination with PicCap.
With these fantastic third-party apps, your LG Smart TV will be transformed into a hub of entertainment, gaming, and nostalgia. So go ahead, explore the possibilities, and make the most out of your TV-watching experience!
A Word of Caution and a Final Disclaimer
Hold on to your remote! Before you embark on the exciting journey of rooting your LG Smart TV and installing third-party apps, we need to make one thing clear: we’re not responsible for any mayhem that may ensue. So, buckle up and read the fine print because it’s time for a disclaimer.
Disclaimer: Attention, courageous TV enthusiasts! This guide is all about taking risks and embracing the unknown. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you are assuming all risks and responsibilities associated with “rooting” your LG Smart TV and venturing into the realm of third-party apps. We hereby absolve ourselves from any blame for damages, data loss, or other mishaps that may occur during this thrilling escapade. In simpler terms, if things go haywire, it’s not our fault!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive back into the exhilarating world of LG Smart TV customization. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility, so proceed with caution and always keep your warranty in mind. And hey, a little adventure never hurt anyone, right? Just don’t come running to us if your TV starts speaking in alien tongues or sprouts extra antennas. We’re just here to provide the information, not the damage control!
So, grab your magic remote, channel your inner tech wizard, and get ready to unlock the full potential of your LG Smart TV. Whether you choose the safe route of Developer Mode or the riskier path of rooting, always remember that you’re the captain of this TV-tainment ship. Take the necessary precautions, back up your data, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!
And now, with all the disclaimers out of the way, it’s time to unleash your creativity and transform your LG Smart TV into a personalized entertainment powerhouse. Embrace the power of third-party apps, explore new frontiers of gaming, and indulge in nostalgia with retro games. Just don’t forget to take occasional breaks to stretch your legs and give your TV some well-deserved rest.
So, fellow TV enthusiasts, go forth and conquer the world of LG Smart TV customization! But remember, it’s your TV, your choices, and your responsibility. We’re here to cheer you on from the sidelines, with a virtual high-five and a touch of humor. Happy app-ing and may your TV adventures be filled with laughter and entertainment!
Disclaimer: This witty and lighthearted disclaimer serves to remind you once again that we cannot be held responsible for any mishaps or hiccups that may occur during the installation of third-party apps on your LG Smart TV. Keep calm, enjoy the process, and let the laughter flow!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Is it safe to install third-party apps on my LG Smart TV?
A: Installing third-party apps on your LG Smart TV involves some level of risk, especially if you choose to root your device. It’s important to understand that rooting your TV and installing apps from unofficial sources can void your warranty and may lead to potential security vulnerabilities. Proceed with caution and make sure you’re comfortable with the potential risks involved.
Q: What is Developer Mode, and how does it work?
A: Developer Mode is a feature that allows users to sideload third-party apps onto their LG Smart TVs. By enabling Developer Mode, you gain access to a wider range of apps beyond what is available on the official LG Content Store. However, it’s important to note that Developer Mode has certain limitations, such as the expiration of elevated system access after 50 hours.
Q: Can I install third-party apps without a computer?
A: Yes, you can install third-party apps on your LG Smart TV without a computer by using the built-in web browser. Simply enable Developer Mode on your TV, open the web browser, and visit the appropriate website to install the desired apps. However, this method may have some limitations compared to using a computer.
Q: What are the risks of rooting my LG Smart TV? A: Rooting your LG Smart TV can have both benefits and risks. While it allows for greater customization and the installation of third-party apps, it can also potentially void your warranty and expose your TV to security vulnerabilities. Additionally, rooting may not be possible on newer TV models due to firmware updates that patch the vulnerabilities required for rooting.
Q: Are there any alternative methods to install third-party apps on LG Smart TVs?
A: Yes, one alternative method is to use the webOS Homebrew Channel, which provides access to a variety of third-party apps for LG Smart TVs. The Homebrew Channel can be installed after rooting your TV or by following specific instructions available online. However, it’s important to note that using alternative methods may come with their own risks and limitations.
Q: Are there any recommended third-party apps for LG Smart TVs?
A: While we can’t endorse or provide direct links to specific third-party apps, there are popular apps available in the webOS Brew Repository that you can explore. These apps include 3D Pinball – Space Cadet for a nostalgic gaming experience, Crunchyroll for streaming anime, IHSplay for streaming PC games, Moonlight for high-performance game streaming, RetroArch for retro game emulation, and YouTube AdFree for an ad-free YouTube experience.
Q: Can I revert the changes and restore my LG Smart TV to its original state?
A: If you decide to root your LG Smart TV or make modifications to the system, reversing those changes may not always be straightforward. It’s important to understand the potential consequences before proceeding. In some cases, a factory reset may restore the TV to its original state, but this can result in data loss and the removal of any apps or customizations.
Remember, always exercise caution, follow instructions carefully, and be aware of the risks involved when installing third-party apps or making modifications to your LG Smart TV. Enjoy the journey, embrace the possibilities, and may your TV experience be filled with endless entertainment!