The race to smarten up a billion phones in rural, developing regions has seen some significant progress so far, most of it coming from KaiOS and Google's massive eight-digit backing into the voice-forward flip phone software suite. Recent rumors, though, have put Android as an double-blind alternative for feature phones. Now, we have our first moving vision of said concept. Read More
KaiOS is the web-based feature phone OS that Google has heavily invested in. We did a hands-on review of the platform earlier this year, and one of the major gaps in functionality was the lack of a WhatsApp application, especially considering KaiOS' main market right now is India. That has finally been addressed, as WhatsApp is now available in the KaiOS app store. Read More
Google currently has two platforms for low-end phones. The company's own solution is Android Go, a watered-down version of Android designed for smartphones with 1GB or less of RAM. At the same time, it has partnered with Kai Technologies to bring Google services to feature phones running the KaiOS operating system. Images have surfaced of a reported Nokia feature phone running a lightweight Android build, but it's more likely that it's a KaiOS phone. Read More
Competition is always good for any market, but when it comes to smartphone platforms, there have only been two viable choices for the better part of a decade — Android and iOS. Microsoft poured billions into Windows Phone and Nokia, only to capture a small fraction of the market for a few years. Tizen, Sailfish, webOS, Symbian, Ubuntu Touch, and Firefox OS also failed to take a decent chunk of users away from Google and Apple.
There's another mobile operating system on the rise, but this one is special for a few reasons. First, it's not necessarily trying to unseat iOS and Android — it's designed to run on feature phones. Read More
This fall will mark the 15th anniversary of the original INFOBAR feature phone in Japan, and telecoms corporation KDDI is releasing a new edition of the device to celebrate. The INFOBAR xv will be the third in this series, and it's by far the most striking of the bunch. And sure, it will run a very short list of Android apps, but let's be honest — this is more about indulging our eyes than anything else, because this feature phone is a stunner. Read More
Mozilla ended development on its smartphone operating system, Firefox OS, at the beginning of 2017. But since it was open-source, other companies have used the code for new products. KaiOS is one fork of Firefox OS, and was first released in March of 2017. Google has already developed applications for KaiOS, but now it's investing $22 million into the company building it. Read More
The first two of Sprint's latest three-phone, mid-range lineup are now arriving to various Sprint retailers, such as Best Buy, sprint.com, Wirefly.com, and others. While they aren't the powerhouses that we've gotten used to, the Sanyo Zio and the Samsung Transform are good introductory-level Android devices for people who want to dump their feature phones for smartphones without having to shell out the big bucks. They are joining the ranks of Sprint's other low-to-mid-range phones, such as the Samsung Intercept and the HTC Hero.
The Sanyo Zio offers a 3.2-inch touchscreen, mobile hotspot, and a 3.2MP camera with autofocus. Read More