You may take WhatsApp for granted on your capable Android or iOS smartphone, but millions of smart feature phone users across the world were unable to use the chat app. That is until now.
KaiOS Technologies, the creator of the eponymous feature phone operating system. KaiOS is a leading feature phone OS that powers more than 100 million devices, in over 100 countries. KaiOS has now announced its partnership with Facebook to bring WhatsApp app for KaiOS devices with at least 256GB of RAM. Previously, the app was only officially available on India’s JioPhone–With the new update, owners of the phone will be able to download Whatsapp and Facebook from the KaiStore and stay in touch with friends and family. The update is rolling out globally, so you may want to check your phone to see if it has arrived.
In a statement via their twitter account, which reads
“We’re excited to announce that @WhatsApp is now available in the KaiStore, connecting friends and family through KaiOS-powered #SmartFeaturePhones using both 256MB and 512MB of RAM!
“We’re thrilled to bring WhatsApp to the KaiOS platform and extend such an important means of communication to a brand new demographic,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “We strive to make the internet and digital services accessible for everyone and offering WhatsApp on affordable smart feature phones is a giant leap towards this goal. We can’t wait to see the next billion users connect in meaningful ways with their loved ones, communities, and others across the globe.”
“KaiOS has been a critical partner in helping us bring private messaging to smart feature phones around the world. Providing WhatsApp on KaiOS helps bridge the digital gap to connect friends and family in a simple, reliable and secure way.” said Matt Idema, COO of WhatsApp.
The Nokia 8110 4G is one of the feature phones running KaiOS, which is a forked version of Firefox OS. Google invested $22 million in the company last year. With this, a number of Google’s own products such as Maps, Assistant, Search and YouTube are now integrated into the operating system. However, there are reports that Google is also working on its own “touchless” too.
The 8110 4G has a 2.4-inch display with a 240 x 320 resolution. It is powered by the Snapdragon 205 dual-core processor paired with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage with support for expansion via MicroSD card (32GB max.)–It has a single 2MP camera, packs a 1,500mAh battery and has 4G support. It also has Wi-FI, Hotspot, FM Radio, and GPS.
KaiOS currently runs on more than 100-million phones worldwide, including MTN’s Smart S and Nokia’s 8110 remake. It provides basic smartphone-like functionality — from apps to music playback and storage, as well as Google services support — at a cost of a feature phone.
The official version of WhatsApp for KaiOS can now be downloaded by users from the KaiStore. It will also come preinstalled on KaiOS phones from the third quarter of 2019.