San Francisco: Google has invested $22 million into the feature phone operating system (OS) “KaiOS” to make Google Assistant, Maps, Search and YouTube available for KaiOS users.
KaiOS powers feature phones from Nokia, Micromax and JioPhones.
“This funding will help us fast-track development and global deployment of KaiOS-enabled smart feature phones,” Sebastien Codeville, CEO, KaiOS Technologies, wrote in a blog post late on Wednesday.
This investment from Google into a feature phone OS could help connect billions of people in emerging markets who still do not have access or resources to be able to use Internet enabled smartphones with advanced functionality.
“We’re excited to work with Google to deliver its services on more mobile devices,” Codeville said.
Launched as a forked version of Firefox OS last year, “KaiOS” is a web-based operating system that enables a new category of smart feature phones.
The OS comes with 512MB RAM and 4GB of storage.
Google apps on “KaiOs” could hugely drive the global penetration of 4G-enabled feature phones.