WhatsApp will now work on basic phones running KaiOS

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Jul 23 2019
WhatsApp will now work on basic phones running KaiOS

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HIGHLIGHTS

Whatsapp can now be downloaded from KaiStore for basic phones.

The app will come pre-installed on select basic phones running KaiOS starting in the third quarter this year.

With 1.5 billion active users and presence in over 180 countries across the globe, WhatsApp has the largest share among all messaging and social networks. However, its availability has still been limited on basic phones but that is changing now. The Facebook-owned messaging app is now available on millions of low-cost KaiOS phones. It can be downloaded from the KaiStore for KaiOS on devices with at least 256MB RAM. Whatsapp will come pre-installed on select basic phones running KaiOS starting the third quarter this year.

The KaiOS version of WhatsApp comes with almost no compromises as it supports both calling and messaging, and includes end-to-end encryption as well. KaiOS was first made available on Reliance’s JioPhone in September 2018. Since then, the app has been gradually released for select KaiOS devices. The toned-down version of WhatsApp was also released for the Nokia 8110 in India in April 2019. However, today is only the first time that the app has been made available to millions of more feature phones by a broader worldwide release. 

To recall, KaiOS is a lightweight operating system that is currently available on a limited number of feature phones. WhatApp for KaiOS in currently available for a total of seven basic phones around the globe - JioPhone, JioPhone 2, Nokia 8110, the Cat B35, Doro 7060, MTN Smart, and Orange Sanza.

The wider roll-out of WhatsApp on KaiOS can fill an important gap, as it will be made available to those who cannot afford smartphones. 

According to Engadget, “the new WhatsApp client could help them connect not just to friends and family who are already on the platform, but stores, services and job opportunities. Although this won't be reassuring to people worried that Facebook has too much power, it could help level the playing field for people who can't justify a more expensive handset.”

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