JioPhone users will have to wait for WhatsApp roll out
In its 41st AGM, Reliance had promised that all JioPhone users would get access to WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps by August 15. For the most part, Jio has lived up to its promise, with Facebook, YouTube and Maps already available via the Jio App Store. WhatsApp, however, is being rolled out in phases; and not every user will get it on day 1.
Following the arrival of Google Assistant for the JioPhone in December last year, users were eagerly waiting for KaiOS to incorporate Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, and WhatsApp. However, the news about the WhatsApp roll out might come as a temporary disappointment to them, especially since there's no official timeline detailing the roll out plans. However, some may get lucky though.
While YouTube has been made available for KaiOS starting today, apps like Facebook and Google Maps have been available for JioPhone users for a while now. In February, Facebook launched a stripped-down, dedicated app for JioPhone users, and Google Maps was rolled out for KaiOS just months later in July. Both the apps, along with YouTube can be found on Jio's app store now.
While Jio claims that users' experience for the aforementioned apps will be similar to what these apps offer on Android and iOS, they come with certain limitations. For instance, YouTube videos can't be downloaded and viewed offline, while video and voice calls over WhatsApp (whenever rolled) cannot be made. However, for the most part, other functionalities remain similar to smartphones.
Notably, with the JioPhone 2 flash sale slated for August 16, and support for popular apps already added or on its way, JioPhone 2 might see unprecedented levels of success. It's a well-known fact that Facebook and Google are eyeing the 'next billion' users by tapping into the Indian market, and the JioPhone 2 might prove to be instrumental to that goal.