LG is out of ideas for the G5 modules and wants some help


It looks like LG has hit a brick wall trying to bring some useful G5 modules to market, especially since half of them won’t even see a global release. So what’s the next logical step? Get someone else to give you ideas!

That’s what I’m taking away from LG’s cordial invite for their developer event on April 15th. It’s technically an open invitation for developers to figure out how to make use of the hardware and software development kits to make their own modules for the phone.

There’s also a marketplace opening up for users to download apps and buy products for the modular G5 that are made by third-parties, which goes live on April 18th.

I don’t think third-party support here is a bad thing. It’s crucial for any developing hardware/software ecosystem, obviously, which is clear when you look at Google’s own app store, or Samsung’s SDK for their S-Pen or fingerprint scanner. The difference here is that LG hasn’t done anything to show off how cool these modules can be. We’ve gotten an extra battery, a camera button with a battery in it, and the DAC that’s likely never going to see the light of day in most countries where LG needs the help.

So if LG can’t think of any good uses for these modules, and they can’t practically release anything that is cool, what do they expect other people to do? And we aren’t talking about Apple or Samsung here, both of which can release any kind of platform and have users and developers flock to it because of the name brand. We’re talking about LG, who is struggling to maintain solid marketshare against other Android OEMs, with the G5 that’s not faring all that well against the mighty Galaxy S7.

This idea seems half-baked, like the modules themselves. Which sucks for the most innovative idea we’ve seen out of a smartphone this year.

SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — LG Electronics (LG) has opened up the new LG G5, inviting developers to reimagine the possibilities for the modular design smartphone and companion devices. At its fourth annual LG Developer Event, hosted on April 15 in San Francisco, attendees will learn how they can develop apps and hardware compatible with the award winning LG G5. In advance of the event, LG has also launched its new software development kit (SDK) and hardware development kit (HDK).

To help developers monetize the LG G5 companion devices they create, LG will soon be launching a new market place (WWW.LGFriends.com) as well. The online destination will further support developers, allowing them to sell their compatible products and content directly to consumers.

“The potential of the industry changing LG G5 and the concept of Friends are limitless. Now we want to give everyone a chance to apply their talent and imagination in developing their own apps and Friends for the LG G5,” said Dr. Ramchan Woo, Vice President, Smartphone Product Planning at LG Electronics. “We believe that by giving developers the same tools that inspired us from LG G5’s inception, we’re going to see innovations ranging from toys to medical tools to things we haven’t even thought of ourselves.”

The Friday evening event will be emceed by Mario Tapia – mobile industry pundit – and will include keynote presentations from LG executives involved in LG G5’s product development, SDK and HDK partners, technical demonstrations and breakout sessions. Developers will also learn how to create their own camera control apps for the new LG 360 CAM and LG 360 VR viewer and also learn more about Google’s Open Spherical Camera API.

Registration is now open on a first-come, first-serve basis. Marshmallow fans and Android developers rejoice – those in attendance will receive a sweet, picture-perfect surprise. To register and learn more about the event and LG’s Developer Program, please visit: developer.lge.com.


About the Author: Jared Peters

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo's Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.

  • kidred14

    So they already had a similar event in South Korea last month with 400 in attendance right? I don’t think it’s a half baked idea. I think it is the first of its kind. Also, the G5 is rushed to market. Probably out earlier than they might have liked, but Samsung’s play probably had something to do with that. So keep that in mind too.

    But we shall see with this modular design and their opening up to development. I think the community should encourage this for everyone’s sake instead of throwing shade and saying half the modules (which is really 1 of 2) will not see the U.S….which is correct, it’s half, but you know… Definitely agree that 1 camera module is not enough. LG has important skin in the game so they better get their shiz together.

    I’d love to see 5 useful(even if it’s niche) modules pop out of this open development program 6 or 8 months from now. Something.. for the love LG

  • Evan Adams

    But the question is what? I can’t think of anything I’d really want. Perhaps an IR barcode laser, PowerPoint button laser pointer presenter, a larger friend that would be like a galaxy gear vr, perhaps hard buttons for the TV IR, but all of those are kinda meh. Not enough margin in them for what they would cost to develop.

  • William Atkinson (TheComputerG

    How about a module that allows for a CD player to be plugged into the USB port on the phone, and you could listen to it through the headphones port, and that would give use to the DAC module and the 2nd battery!

  • Jeffrey Larson

    I think that a module that adds satellite gps capabilities would be a great idea. I think this would be great for hikers and campers. Right now garmin works with an app in the phone. It would be awesome if the G5 could track its own coordinates without cell service and higher accuracy. Also if it could be tracked by friends and family that would be awesome.