The HMD Global-led Nokia is working on a feature phone running Android which has leaked in some hands-on photos. This feature phone will take on KaiOS, an OS for feature phones.
Google has not provided any information or even made Android for feature phones official. However, as per 9to5Google, there has been a lot of development in Chrome which makes it clear that Android is coming to feature phones. While Google already offers Android Go for low-end smartphones, Android for feature phones is going to be a bit different. It will be designed for phones that lack a touch screen and rely on a traditional joystick and Numpad for navigation purposes.
The hands-on photos of the Nokia feature phone running Android now add further credence to Google’s behind the scene efforts. The hands-on photos show a new layout for the home screen which includes a row of icons at the bottom along with a microphone icon in the center for seemingly quick access to Google Assistant.
There are two possibilities that we are looking at here. Google has already invested in KaiOS which powers the popular feature phone JioPhone in India. The company has even brought Google Assistant and some of its other apps to KaiOS. So, it would be unlikely for Google to go ahead and make a KaiOS competitor. What is possible is that Google is working to co-develop the next update of KaiOS where it would be heavily integrating its own suite of apps and services.