Reliance Jio’s feature phone, called the JioPhone, will soon get Google services such as Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Search.
This is because the feature phone runs on KaiOS — an operating system from a US-based company named KaiOS Technologies — which is set to get apps specifically developed for KaiOS users in partnership with Google.
The firm has received a $22 million Series A investment from internet search giant Google “to help bring the internet to the next generation of users.”
“This funding will help us fast-track development and global deployment of KaiOS-enabled smart feature phones, allowing us to connect the vast population that still cannot access the internet, especially in emerging markets,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies.
Back in March, it was also reported that JioPhone may also soon get support for popular instant messaging app WhatsApp as well. In an official blog post WaBetaInfo — a Twitter account that tracks changes in WhatsApp’s beta builds — wrote, “Important references about the development of a new native KaiOS app had been found in the latest WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone 2.18.38, indicating the presence of a new platform that can be connected to WhatsApp servers.”
JioPhone was launched in India in July 2017 at an “effective” price of Rs 0. In terms of specs, the device comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA TFT display and is powered by dual-core processor. It offers 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB. The Jio Phone offers 4G VoLTE network as a connectivity option and comes pre-installed apps Jio apps including JioTV, JioMusic and JioCinema. The device offers support for 24 Indian languages and voice commands.