What is KaiOS? See Features, Importance and Functions


Recently, tech brands have begun to record fewer sales while online services have become less popular. This has led various companies to target areas that record low usage of smartphones.

Furthermore, they aim to attract more sales by launching offering new features like the KaiOS which has even overshadowed the iOS in some countries. Surprisingly, Google has shown interest in this new development.

Are you curious about the KaiOS? Read on for a detailed explanation of this new technology.

What Does KaiOS mean?

KaiOS is an operating system for entry-level smartphones which is based on B2G (Boot to Gecko). Its uses minimal storage space of 256MB while using a low amount of energy.

This OS will feature the latest apps to phones without touchscreens. It will also include “smartphone” options such as WiFi, 4G/LTE, NFC for payments and Wi-Fi.

Since this technology will focus on the budget consumer, devices with KaiOS are relatively affordable. One of such devices is the JioPhone which goes for $20.

What’s Special about the KaiOS?

Tech firms have shown interest in the KaiOS because it offers an HTML5 app that enables developers to quickly build dedicated web apps.

This comes as a relief especially when most feature phones use the Java OS which requires

It also has an open environment that gives access to various smartphone makers such as Alcatel and Nokia. Overall, any interested party can build an app and upload it for access by consumers.

What Apps will the KaiOS Feature?

If you visit the KaiOS app store, you will find a small number of apps including popular titles. However, these apps will not have the same features as their smartphone versions. For instance, the KaiOS versions of social media apps cannot live stream content.

Currently, the apps which you can install from this store include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Google Maps
  • Google Assistant
  • Google Search
  • WhatsApp (OEM dependent)
  • The Weather Channel
  • Flash Score
  • Gameloft games such as Castle Magic and Nitro Street: Drag Mode.

The store has a handful of other generic apps which are developed by KaiOS itself. There’s one for checking the weather called KaiWeather, QR Reader for scanning codes, and more.

It also has an app developed by the KaiOS platform. These apps include FM Radio, News, Horoscope and Weather.

Why Are Google and Facebook Interested in KaiOS?

As mentioned earlier, big tech names such as Google and Facebook are interested in the KaiOS. They also come as the first firms to feature their services on this new platform. Now the question comes- why the sudden rush to place their apps on the KaiOS?

Well, advertising plays a major role in generating revenue for big tech firms which means more users leads to increased data and advertisers. Given the current drop in global smartphone sales, these companies are seeking ways to advertise on “dumb” phones as an alternative revenue source.

Overall, the idea of early signups by these companies on the new platform enables them to gain more leverage as the KaiOS includes other services. Furthermore, they intend to target phone users who have never surfed the internet.

In a similar move to attract a larger audience, Google and Facebook have offered new languages and features for emerging countries. For instance, Google Assistant now speaks in several Indic languages such as Tamil, Bengali, and Urdu.

Google has also shown its commitment to providing the default voice assistant for KaiOS by investing over $20 million. Devices like Reliance’s JioPhone have even included dedicated physical buttons that can activate the Assistant while the platform has provided deep level integrations.

Such features enable users to ask questions and receive answers as they would on smartphones.

Who Should Use a KaiOS Device?

Devices that feature the KaiOS are aimed at people who do not have access to smartphones. It’s also an ideal product for consumers who find the touchscreens on smartphones confusing since its apps can be developed by physical buttons.

If you want to break your smartphone addiction, a KaiOS enabled device comes as an ideal platform. This is because it has a small display and keypads which prevent users from spending too many times on Google Maps.

It also stops kids from wasting hours on social media while offering a chance to communicate with family and friends. Furthermore, older people will love this smartphone as it has simple apps without notifications.

Top KaiOS Phones to Buy

KaiOS phones are great devices for various people, thus investing in one is an excellent choice. Such devices include:

Posted by Abiodun Adewusi

Abiodun Adewusi is a freelance writer who lives in Nigeria. As a writer, he is passionate about providing content on technology helping people keep up with the latest trends. You can see some of his work on Medium and Ezine.

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