29 Jul 2019
#NewsBytesExplainer: What is KaiOS and why is it so popular
From Maps to AI assistants, Android/iOS smartphones bring everything into the palm of our hands.
Their tech is still evolving, but companies want to make modern-day services accessible to every individual, even to those who can't afford smartphones.
This is why we're seeing the rise of KaiOS - a simple, lightweight OS that offers smartphone-like functionalities on a feature phone.
Here's all about it.
KaiOS has been designed for affordable, low spec'd feature phones
After coming to the fore with Jio Phone, KaiOS became popular as a simple web-based platform for regular feature phones.
It has been built on top of Boot to Gecko, the successor to Firefox OS, and is so light that a phone with just 256MB RAM can run it smoothly.
The low-key requirements of KaiOS even keep device prices on the lower side.
But, you still get all the good stuff
KaiOS running phones, like Jio Phone or Nokia 8110, offer a dumbphone-like form factor with keys and nothing too fancy, not even internals.
But, despite this, the OS lives up to the expectation and offers an HTML5 app store called the KaiStore.
It serves as an open platform where developers make and upload web apps, while users download them, just like Google Play Store.
Also, you get modern connectivity options
KaiOS offers a range of apps, including the likes of Google Maps, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Google Assistant, and Twitter.
Moreover, it even supports modern-day connectivity options like 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and NFC, which can be used for payments.
To note, all this stuff is missing from dumbphones, which require unique integration of connectivity features as well as JAVA-based software for every device.
Over 100 million KaiOS phones shipped
Interestingly, KaiOS has already grown into the third most popular operating system with an active user base of more than 100 million.
The platform serves as the middle ground between dumbphones and smartphones and helps big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Jio and HMD Global reach emerging markets with their respective software and hardware products.
KaiOS is giving more power to people
While expanding the reach of big tech, KaiOS is also giving people in emerging markets an opportunity to try new capabilities without paying or knowing much.
Basically, simple KaiOS phones make an ideal solution for people who cannot afford smartphones or do not know how to use one, owing to poor literacy rate or just old age.
It's easy to use and fully capable!
Do you know?
Google has already invested over $20 million in KaiOS
Notably, Google has already pumped in more than $20 million into KaiOS as part of an effort to make Google Assistant the default voice assistant and Google Search the default search engine on all KaiOS phones.