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KaiOS: How catching up the Android

by Snehashis Mukherjee

We know very few names of the smartphone Operating System that we use on daily basis. Android is the largest smartphone operating system in the world which comes in most of the phone in the world, next comes iOS which are the 2nd largest operating system in the world, iOS comes only with Apple phones. Apart from these two there is a various operating system available in the market but they are almost dead.

Some of these are Windows Operating system which was used to come with windows phones, due to the fewer developers and less usage of windows phone in 2018 windows officially discontinued their mobile os, Blackberry which was one of the most popular operating systems before coming Android, blackberry comes with blackberry phone only but the share market of this os ie very less. Java, Symbian was the most popular phone operating system before coming android. After coming android in the market, it took over all the market from other operating systems. Apart from Android and iOS, there is a new operating system in the market called KaiOS.

This operating system is developed for feature phones or keypad phones. But the features offered by KaiOS are lot mode advanced then than a normal feature phone and that makes this os more capable. We will discuss these features only and why google invested $22 million on KaiOS recently. What’s there in KaiOS which makes it Worlds 3rd largest Smartphone OS?

KaiOS

KaiOS operating system was first appeared in 2017 and is developed by KaiOS Technologies which is a San Diago California based company. KaiOS is based on Linux and is forked from B2E OS which is an open-source community fork of Firefox Operating system, which was discontinued in 2016 by Mozilla.

KaiOS claims that they are the most Emerging OS. The main ambition of KaiOS is making the feature phone smart. Nowadays most of the phone manufacturers use KaiOS on their feature phones. For example, recent Nokia feature phones come with KaiOS, and the most popular feature phone in India is Jio phone that also comes with KaiOS.
In the feature phones that use KaiOS, this OS adds some extra features and functionality, though it also requires some features in terms of hardware. Such as – 4G Support, WiFi Support, NFC Payment Support, Apps Support, Progressive Web App Support, etc. Previously, feature-phones used good hardware but feature-phone software was not strong enough to support such advanced features as 4G or NFC. KaiOS basically changed the whole concept. 

KaiOS is the lightweight and customized version of Mozilla’s Firefox os which was discontinued within one year of its initial release. Firefox OS is optimized for feature phone and hardware button-based phones and released newly as KaiOS.
This OS was the first to use an Alcatel flip phone, which was a very basic low-end phone. Immediately afterward, HMD Global used this OS with its newly-created Nokia Flip phones, also known as banana phones because of its color. Then, one of India’s major mobile network companies, Jio, decided to implant this OS into its basic low-end feature phone, called Jio Phone, which is already very popular in the Indian market as the Best Feature Phone.

However, in addition to these, many more feature phones are being used in many countries around the world. According to the report, KaiOS is already in the Indian market only after Android in terms of market share behind iOS. That’s why KaiOS has great potential to become the world’s third-largest mobile OS. Because, now smartphone users are the most, but feature-phone users are not very low. And in the country like India, Bangladesh and some Asia specific countries, feature phone users are much more than other countries. And in those places where there are mobiles like KaiOS powered feature phones like Nokia’s Banana Phone or Jio Phone, this is perfect for most ordinary mobile phone users. And so far, KaiOS powered phones have been sold to over 30 million worldwide and it is estimated that around 500 million KaiOS powered devices will be sold by the end of 2020.

Why it is so popular?

One of the biggest reasons for being so popular is app support. It has never been possible to imagine using such apps on any other feature-phone before coming to KaiOS . KaiOS also has its own full-featured app store, where most of the apps needed by popular developers are available. Yes, you won’t get that much app in KaiStore which you generally get on Android play store or iOS App store, but you can get all those popular apps which you can control through feature phone buttons. KaiOS app is basically progressive web apps that are built using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

KaiStore(KaiOS app store)

In KaiOS you can get official support of most popular apps like Whatsapp, Twitter, Youtube, etc and many more. The best part of the KaiOS is google voice assistant support. You can interact with google assistant on a feature phone isn’t that cool?

Another reason for the success of KaiOS is that since it is not a full-featured operating system, it is a modified version of the Firefox OS itself, so the entire OST runs on the Firefox browser engine. So it is very easy to use web apps in this OS and Convenient is an experience that is never available on any other feature phone. Although KaiOS runs on feature phones, it also supports all standard web technologies, such as HTML Five, Javascript, CSS, etc. So almost all websites and web apps can be easily accessed on a Kios-powered feature phone.

KaiOS Phones

There are many phones in the world which runs KaiOS. Some of the phones are Jio Phone 1, Jio Phone 2, Alcatel go flip 2, Alcatel go flip 3, Nokia 800, Nokia Banana phone, Nokia 8110, Nokia 2720, TECNO T901 and many more.

Conclusion

By now, you can understand why KaiOS is so successful and why it is likely to be the third-largest and most popular mobile OS in the world. Finishing here as it is today. Hope you enjoy today’s article too. If you have any questions or comments please let us know in the comments section.

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