KaiOS
KaiOS logo.svg
KaiOS official logo
DeveloperKaiOS Technologies (Hong Kong) Limited (with TCL as largest shareholder)[1]
Written inHTML, CSS, JavaScript, C++
OS familyLinux (Unix-like)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelSource-available(except for the binary blobs)
Initial release2017; 5 years ago (2017)
Marketing targetFeature phones
Package managerKaiStore
PlatformsARM
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
Default
user interface
Graphical
Licenseproprietary, Linux kernel patches under GPLv2,
B2G under MPL[2][3][4]
Preceded byFirefox OS
Official websitewww.KaiOStech.com
Nokia 8110 4G "banana phone"
Nokia 8110 4G "banana phone"

KaiOS is a mobile Linux distribution for keypad feature phones based on the Firefox OS open-source project.[5] It is developed by KaiOS Technologies (Hong Kong) Limited; a company based in Hong Kong, whose largest shareholder is Chinese multinational electronics conglomerate TCL Corporation.[6][1] KaiOS runs on feature phones made with low-power hardware and low power consumption (and therefore long battery life). KaiOS supports modern connectivity technologies like 4G LTE E, VoLTE, GPS, and Wi-Fi. KaiOS runs HTML5-based apps. KaiOS supports over-the-air updates and has KaiStore, a dedicated app marketplace.[7] Some applications are preloaded, including Facebook and YouTube.[8] As of 1 April 2020, there are 500+ apps in KaiStore. The mobile operating system is comparatively lightweight on hardware resource usage, and is able to run on devices with just 256 megabytes (MB) of memory.[9]

History

The operating system was first released in 2017, and is developed by KaiOS Technologies Inc., a Hong Kong-based[10] company headed by CEO Sebastien Codeville, with offices in other countries. In June 2018, Google invested US$22 million in the operating system.[11] India-based telecom operator Reliance Jio also invested $7 million for a 16% stake in the company.[12] In May 2019, KaiOS raised an additional US$50 million from Cathay Innovation, and previous investors Google and TCL Holdings.[13]

In market share study results announced in May 2018, KaiOS beat Apple's iOS for second place in India,[14] while Android dominates with 71%, albeit down by 9%. KaiOS growth is being largely attributed to the popularity of the competitively-priced JioPhone.[15] In Q1 2018, 23 million KaiOS devices were produced.[16]

In March 2020, Mozilla and KaiOS Technologies announced a partnership to update KaiOS with a modern version of the Gecko browser engine, and more closely aligned testing infrastructure. This change should give KaiOS four years worth of performance and security improvements and new features, including TLS 1.3, WebAssembly, WebGL 2.0, Progressive Web Apps, new video codecs like WebP, AV1, and modern JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) features.[17][18]

Devices

Jio Phone
Jio Phone

Devices that are installed with KaiOS include (KaiStore may not be included, if device vendor removed it):[19]

All KaiOS devices have ABC keypad with exceptions being Jiophone 2 and Ghia GQWERTY having a QWERTY keypad.

Partnerships

As of February 2018, KaiOS Technologies has partnered with Mozilla, Airfind, Avenir Telecom (Energizer), Facebook, Google, Bullitt, Doro, HMD Global, Micromax, NXP, Spreadtrum, Qualcomm, Jio, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Orange S.A.[38][8][39]

In March 2020, KaiOS Technologies partnered with Mozilla to bring the modern version of Gecko browser engine to future KaiOS builds.[17][40]

Release history

version announced new features mobile phones
1.0 March 2017 First KaiOS smart feature flip phone
2.0 July 2017 Major core upgrade to Gecko 48
2.5.0 November 2017[41] Services and 3rd party apps Nokia 8110 4G
2.5.1 July 2018[42] KaiStore, KaiAccount, and advanced features, WhatsApp
2.5.1.1 September 2018 Minor system updates
2.5.2 December 2018 KaiAds and SIMbased cust. Nokia 2720 Flip, Nokia 800 Tough
2.5.3 July 2019 Major service upgrades, location service enhancement
2.5.3.1 February 2020 Minor system updates, notification enhancement
2.5.3.2 May 2020 Device Financing Program, Dual SIM LTE support
2.5.4 August 2020 LF 1.6 integration, North America requirement Nokia 6300 4G, Nokia 8000 4G
3.0 September 2021 Major platform Upgrade, Gecko upgrade[43] from version 48 (2016) to version 84 (December 2020).[44] Older apps don't work without the developer to adapt to this OS version and publish an update to the store. WhatsApp not available anymore for KaiOS v3. Nokia 2760 Flip
3.1 March 2022[45] Minor system updates Nokia 2780 Flip

Jailbreak

With the release of the Nokia 8110 4G, an active community around both KaiOS and the phone arose and released the first version of a jailbreak. This gave users the ability to use apps outside KaiStore including old Firefox OS apps on KaiOS devices, as well as flashing their devices with community-created ROMs, such as GerdaOS.[46][47]

References

  1. ^ a b "The BRICs broke the monopoly, and India's 'Hongmeng' took off". Technology-Info.net. 2 September 2019. Archived from the original on 10 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Can I access the source code?". Support.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies. 6 August 2018. Archived from the original on 15 April 2019.
  3. ^ "KaiOStech/gecko-b2g". GitHub.com. GitHub. 29 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Terms of Service". KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies. 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  5. ^ "KaiOS Source code". KaiOS. Archived from the original on 12 November 2022. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  6. ^ Das, DJ (10 October 2019). "DJ Das". Authors group. doi:10.1287/9ea64c20-808c-4b4f-9ae8-f0d23963a8af. S2CID 243202603. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  7. ^ "Store". KaiOS. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  8. ^ a b "All you need to know about KaiOS that runs on Jio feature phone". Blogpoke.com. Blogpoke. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017.
  9. ^ "KaiOS is on 30 million phones and now has Google apps, Facebook, Twitter". MobilityArena.com. Mobility Arena. 27 February 2018. Archived from the original on 3 April 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Official LinkedIn page of KaiOS Technologies, Inc". LinkedIn.com. LinkedIn. Retrieved 14 June 2020. The team behind KaiOS currently numbers more than 280 people and continues to grow rapidly. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Kai has offices around the world, including the U.S., China, India, and France."; "KaiOS is a Hong Kong based company.
  11. ^ "Google invests $22 million in the OS powering Nokia feature phones". TheVerge.com. The Verge. 28 June 2018.
  12. ^ Parikh, Prasham (24 April 2019). "KaiOS and Jio are ready to serve 4G goodness to the unserved". EOTO.Tech. EOTO Tech. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  13. ^ "KaiOS raises $50M, hits 100M handsets powered by its feature phone OS". Social.TechCrunch.com. TechCrunch. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  14. ^ "KaiOS is doing well in India, but it's pulling some big numbers in US too". www.AndroidAuthority.com. Android Authority. March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  15. ^ "JioPhone's KaiOS surpasses iOS to become India's second most popular mobile operating system". BGR.in. 7 May 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  16. ^ "The second-largest mobile OS in India rhymes with iOS, but isn't iOS". www.AndroidAuthority.com. Android Authority. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  17. ^ a b Shankland, Stephen. "Mozilla helps modernize feature phones powered by Firefox tech". www.CNET.com. CNET. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  18. ^ Itimu, Kiruti (11 March 2020). "Mozilla is Back to Officially Supporting KaiOS in the Future". Techweez. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Explore KaiOS • Devices". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies.
  20. ^ "Alcatel GO FLIP™". www.AlcatelOneTouch.ca. Alcatel OneTouch Canada. 16 June 2017.
  21. ^ "The Cingular Flip 2 is AT&T's newest clamshell phone". www.PhoneArena.com. Phone Arena.
  22. ^ "Alcatel MyFlip (A405DL)". Shop.TracFone.com. TracFone.
  23. ^ "Reliance Jio LYF 4G VoLTE feature phone: to run KaiOS, will have an app store too". IndianExpress.com. Indian Express. 20 July 2017.
  24. ^ "[Exclusive] Reliance Jio and Lyf's 4G VoLTE feature phone". Techpp.com. 13 July 2017.
  25. ^ "Jio phone booking - pre book Jio mobile online for 500 only". www.Jio.com. Jio.
  26. ^ "JioPhone 2 at Rs 2,999: WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, all on new feature phone". The Economic Times. 6 July 2018.
  27. ^ "The return of the Nokia 8110 - 'the banana phone'". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies. 7 June 2018.
  28. ^ "The Nokia 8110 is back". MyBroadband.co.za.
  29. ^ Leung, Eletta (5 September 2019). "Introducing the Nokia 2720 Flip and 800 Tough, powered by KaiOS". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies.
  30. ^ "Doro's 7050 is the next great simple phone". UK.PCmag.com. 26 February 2018.
  31. ^ "CAT B35 rugged feature phone launched with KaiOS, Google apps and 4G". www.Gizmochina.com. Gizmochina. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Maxcom at MWCA 2018". www.Maxcom.pl. Maxcom. 25 September 2018.
  33. ^ "Google WizPhone WP006 is a JioPhone competitor, but its launched in Indonesia". IndianExpress.com. Indian Express. 7 December 2018.
  34. ^ "MTN launches R300 smartphone with WhatsApp". MyBroadband.co.za. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  35. ^ a b Leung, Eletta (13 June 2019). "KaiOS Technologies enters Brazil market through launch of Positivo P70S and Multilaser ZAPP". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies.
  36. ^ Leung, Eletta (15 August 2019). "The first TECNO device running KaiOS is here: Meet the T901". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies.
  37. ^ "myPhone Up Smart LTE". myPhone. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  38. ^ "MWC 2018: Kai announces partnerships with mobile industry giants - KaiOS". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies. 26 February 2018.
  39. ^ "Mozilla helps modernize feature phones powered by Firefox tech". www.CNET.com. CNET. 11 March 2020.
  40. ^ "Firefox OS successor: Mozilla and KaiOS announce partnership". www.gHacks.net. gHacks Tech News. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  41. ^ "KaiOS 2.5 will run on feature phones with Qualcomm, Spreadtrum chipsets with just 256MB RAM". www.FoneArena.com. Fone Arena.
  42. ^ Nayan (29 December 2019). "New Nokia 8110 4G firmware update brings KaiOS 2.5.1/2.5.2". NokiaPowerUser.com. Nokia Power User. Retrieved 6 January 2020. Nokia 8110 4G, running KaiOS, received […] firmware version 17.00.17.01, with KaiOS 2.5.1.
  43. ^ "New KaiOS update might make Nokia feature phones better". Nokiamob. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  44. ^ "KaiOS 3.0 mit aktuellem Gecko 84.0 wird verteilt". LinuxNews. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  45. ^ "Nokia 2760 Flip". KaiOS. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  46. ^ "I spent a week with a $17 KaiOS phone - here's what I learned". www.AndroidAuthority.com. Android Authority. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  47. ^ "GerdaOS: a custom ROM to liberate the heart of Kai". Gerda.Tech. Retrieved 17 March 2020.