It was a nice year for KaiOS, as the platform received another one substantial round of funding of several companies (including TCL and Google). It's also made in the roads in the African continent and has made many Google program support in the process.
After spending time with & # 39; n $ 17 KaiOS phone Earlier this year, it's easy to see why the platform gets traction. KaiOS bridges the gap between smartphone and feature phone thanks to features like Wi-Fi, apps and Google Assistant.
The support of Google also does not matter, as the companies previously announced Google Voice Tap would come to KaiOS devices. So when can we expect it to land on devices?
"We've already deployed it on some of the devices, and we'll soon deploy it as a standard feature. But it's already deployed. update, "said Mr. KaiOS CEO Sebastien Codeville said Android Authority. Otherwise, says the CEO, they don't have a plan at this stage to bring more specific Google applications to the platform.
Incoming improvements and additions?
Codeville also noted that they are working to make the platform more efficient for devices with a small amount of RAM. It was especially noticeable on the $ 17 KaiOS phone (MTN's Smart S), with frequent app accidents and generally stuttering performance in the likes of WhatsApp and the browser. The team adds that they have also identified or identified some other pain points that we noticed in our review, such as laggy typing, regular storage alerts and cloud functionality. But what about other absent features such as copy / paste and multitasking?
"Our team is implementing both multitask and browser features for 512MB RAM devices. As for the copy / paste feature specifically, it is something we are actively working on and looking for alternatives, as this action is a big part of RAM storage on smart feature phone devices, "the company said.
The KaiOS team is addressing various pain points on current low-end devices, such as laggy typing and the lack of tabs.
Codeville also expanded to the possibility of using Chrome's Chromium engine for its own browser: "We don't plan to use Chromium as a browser. It will be too heavy for the device we target. But we definitely improve the reading experience on the device. "
Google Assistant at such a cheap device is in many ways also a game changer, which shows the power of machine learning. Codeville says they are currently working on a different machine learning project with several partners, with the aim of bringing new services to the platform in the second half of the year. The chief executive no longer disclosed details, but there are many uses for machine learning on mobile anyway between photography, performance and security.
Where to next for KaiOS?
Codeville says they're busy with new form factors and new services that aren't directly related to the smart feature phone sector. The CEO says they will launch the new product at the end of the year without giving more information on these new initiatives.
As far as expansion plans are concerned, Codeville says they will expand into more countries and operators in Africa and the Middle East. In addition, Codeville says it will start in Brazil and Mexico from the summer before expanding to more Latin American markets.
"A little later in Q3, we will deploy to more countries in Asia," Codeville adds, specifically calling Indonesia. "The goal for us is by the end of the year to be present in most countries around the world."
In the US and intrigued by the platform? Well, Codeville says there will be some devices coming on the market in 2019. Do you want to buy a KaiOS device? Let us know in the comments!