First, there was Android Go, a stripped-down version of Android for low-powered phones, and soon there could be an Android for feature phones. A leaked image shows off an Android-based operating system running on what appears to be a Nokia feature phone, according to Today, 9to5Google. received a tip containing imagery from what could be the first look at an Android-based OS running on what appears to be a Nokia feature phone.
The phone in question, partially obscured by a rubber case, bears a striking resemblance to the Nokia 220. While it doesn’t appear to be that exact device (the 220 doesn’t have a front-facing camera), it does look decidedly Nokia-esque in its aesthetic. The single image shows off the phone’s depicts the phone on its home screen, with Android app iconsicons that follow Android’s Material Design styling, as well as Google’s recognizable voice search icon up top. It’s unclear if this provides quick access to Google Assistant or Google’s Voice Search.
There’s also anThe former also includes an app drawer icon in the middle, while it’s unclear if the latter provides quick access to the Google Assistant, or Google’s Voice Search. A and along the bottom of the screen are shortcuts for alerts — presumably to replace the notification shade — as well as settings. Both appear to correspond with the keypads shoulder buttons.
Android is the universal OS for almost any smartphone not made by Apple, and more recently, the Google has provided lightweight iterations like Android GoO, which is optimized for entry-level devices. Porting over a version for the still relevant feature phone market is would seem a logical and practical business development.
Occupying that space now is KaiOS — an HTML5-based feature phone OS, — which features integrations with Google, Facebook, Twitter, and most recently, WhatsApp. These are forged through direct partnerships with each respective company, providing users with Google apps like Maps and the Google Assistant — all through keypad-controlled, non-touch interfaces. KaiOS isn’t on all feature phones, and presumably, neither would Android, but the company does have a few clients in the feature phone market, including Alcatel and HMD Global.
Being the number one feature phone brand worldwide, a partnership with Google to develop a feature phone version of Android could be a big move for both companies, and the feature phone market at large. After all, Counterpoint Research predicts feature phone shipments will cross 1 billion by 2021.
While this anonymous tipster has only one photo and little in the way of context, a move by Google into the feature phone market could bring the companies services to many more people and presumably for much less money.
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