LG Opens G5 Smartphone To Module Devs

When LG debuted a certain level of modularity with its flagship G5 smartphone, it signaled the company’s intention to pass up both the otherwise slow-moving modular smartphone convoy and its smartphone competition. Now, the company has officially opened up G5 module development and will be hosting its own mini dev conference later this week in San Francisco.

Already, devs can get their hands on the newly-released SDK and HDK, and LG said that it’s about to launch a marketplace to support people working with them. “The online destination will further support developers, allowing them to sell their compatible products and content directly to consumers,” read a press release.

LG wants developers to not only create new modules for the G5, but also new “Friends”--that is, peripheral devices designed specifically to work with the G5, such as the LG 360 VR headset and LG 360 Cam. (Note that both of the 360 devices use Google’s Open Spherical Camera API, which LG will discuss at the April 15 developer event.)

At launch, the G5 had a modular battery, which satisfied the throngs of smartphone users cursing the trend of non-removable batteries. Clearly, though, LG has something bigger in mind. As high-profile modular smartphone endeavors like Project Ara flounder, LG is being bold and brave by forcibly assuming the modular mantle.

If it can get enough developers to buy in, and if the G5 offers a powerful-enough platform (that also works well), LG may be able to separate itself from the smartphone flagship pack.

Seth Colaner is the News Director for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.