We've already taken a look at KaiOS, the operating system for flip phones that Google has invested millions of dollars into. It's designed to bring improvements from the smartphone era, such as personal device tracking and VoLTE, back to the world (and price point) of feature phones. The platform is already a smash hit in countries like India, but until now, the only KaiOS phones to appear in the United States are running older OS versions with the app store and other features missing. Read More
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
Last year, Google invested $22 million in KaiOS Technologies Inc, a company best known for its KaiOS feature phone operating system. Google Assistant was already available for KaiOS, but now support for actions is on the way. Android Go, the lightweight version of Android that hasn't quite won our hearts, is also joining in on the fun. 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