KaiOS is a mobile operating system, based on Linux, for keypad feature phones. It is developed by KaiOS Technologies (Hong Kong) Limited; a company based in Hong Kong, with largest shareholder being Chinese multinational electronics conglomerate TCL Corporation.[1] KaiOS is forked from B2G OS (Boot to Gecko OS), an open source community-driven fork of Firefox OS, which was discontinued by Mozilla in 2016.[5][6][7]

KaiOS
KaiOS logo.svg
KaiOS official logo
DeveloperKaiOS Technologies (Hong Kong) Limited (with TCL as largest shareholder)[1]
Written inHTML, CSS, JavaScript, C++
OS familyFirefox OS / Open Web (based on Linux kernel)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelSource-available
Initial release2017; 4 years ago (2017)
Marketing targetFeature phones
Package managerKaiStore
PlatformsARM
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
Default user interfaceGraphical
Licenseproprietary, Linux kernel patches under GPLv2,
B2G under MPL[2][3][4]
Official websitewww.KaiOStech.com
Nokia 8110 4G "banana phone"

The primary features of KaiOS bring support for 4G LTE E, VoLTE, GPS, and Wi-Fi; with HTML5-based apps and longer battery life to non-touchscreen devices with optimised user interface, less memory and energy consumption.[8][9] It also features over-the-air updates (OTA updates). A dedicated app marketplace (KaiStore) enables users to download mobile applications, or 'apps'.[10] Some services are preloaded as HTML5 applications, including Facebook and YouTube.[11] 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.[12]

The operating system first appeared in 2017; 4 years ago (2017), and is developed by KaiOS Technologies Inc., a Hong Kong-based[13] company headed by CEO Sebastien Codeville, with offices in other countries. In June 2018, Google invested US$22 million in the operating system.[14] India-based telecom operator Reliance Jio also invested $7 million for a 16% stake in the company.[15] In May 2019, KaiOS raised an additional US$50 million from Cathay Innovation, and previous investors Google and TCL Holdings.[16]

In market share study results announced in May 2018, KaiOS beat Apple's iOS for second place in India,[17] while Android dominates with 71%, albeit down by 9%. KaiOS growth is being largely attributed to the popularity of the competitively-priced Jio phone.[18] In Q1 2018, 23 million KaiOS devices were released.[19]

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.[20][21]

DevicesEdit

 
Jio Phone

Devices that are installed with KaiOS are:[22]

PartnershipsEdit

As of February 2018, KaiOS Technologies has partnered with Mozilla, Airfind, Facebook, Google, Bullitt, Doro, HMD Global, Micromax, NXP, Spreadtrum, Qualcomm, Jio, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Orange S.A.[40][11][41]

In March 2020, KaiOS Technologies partnered with Mozilla to bring the modern version of Gecko browser engine to future KaiOS builds.[20][21]

Release historyEdit

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[42] Services and 3rd party apps Nokia 8110 4G
2.5.1 July 2018[43] 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 December 2020 Major platform Upgrade, Gecko upgrade [1]

JailbreakEdit

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 old Firefox OS apps on KaiOS devices, as well as flashing their devices with community-created ROMs, such as GerdaOS.[44][45]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "The BRICs broke the monopoly, and India's 'Hongmeng' took off". Technology-Info.net. 2 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Can I access the source code?". Support.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies.
  3. ^ "KaiOStech/gecko-b2g". GitHub.com. GitHub. 29 July 2020.
  4. ^ KaiOS Terms of Service
  5. ^ "KaiOS FAQ". KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018. KaiOS originates from the Firefox OS open-source project, and has continued independently from Mozilla since 2016.
  6. ^ "JioPhone operating system (Android or KaiOS or Firefox OS)". Jio4Gmobile.in. JioPhone. Archived from the original on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2019. JioPhone is going to run on KaiOS … a forked version of Firefox mobile OS.
  7. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (26 February 2018). "KaiOS, a feature phone platform built on the ashes of Firefox OS, adds Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google apps". TechCrunch.com. TechCrunch. Retrieved 10 December 2019. KaiOS has been around since 2017. KaiOS built on a fork of Firefox OS. HMD/Nokia will be using it.
  8. ^ "KaiOS, here's everything you should know about the operating system available in JioPhone". MobileStudio.co.in. Mobile Studio. 24 August 2017. Archived from the original on 6 January 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  9. ^ Barton, James. "KaiOS emerging OS". DevelopingTelecoms.com. Developing Telecoms.
  10. ^ "Reliance Jio LYF 4G VoLTE feature phone: To run KaiOS, will have an app store too". IndianExpress.com. Indian Express. 20 July 2017.
  11. ^ a b "All you need to know about KaiOS that runs on Jio feature phone". Blogpoke.com. Blogpoke.
  12. ^ "KaiOS is on 30 million phones and now has Google apps, Facebook, Twitter". MobilityArena.com. Mobility Arena. 27 February 2018.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "Google invests $22 million in the OS powering Nokia feature phones". TheVerge.com. The Verge. 28 June 2018.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "KaiOS raises $50M, hits 100M handsets powered by its feature phone OS". Social.TechCrunch.com. TechCrunch. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  17. ^ "KaiOS is doing well in India, but it's pulling some big numbers in US too". www.AndroidAuthority.com. Android Authority. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  18. ^ "JioPhone's KaiOS surpasses iOS to become India's second most popular mobile operating system". BGR.in. 7 May 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  19. ^ "The second-largest mobile OS in India rhymes with iOS, but isn't iOS". www.AndroidAuthority.com. Android Authority. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  20. ^ a b Shankland, Stephen. "Mozilla helps modernize feature phones powered by Firefox tech". www.CNET.com. CNET. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Firefox OS successor: Mozilla and KaiOS announce partnership". www.gHacks.net. gHacks Tech News. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Explore KaiOS • Devices". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies.
  23. ^ "Alcatel GO FLIP™". www.AlcatelOneTouch.ca. Alcatel OneTouch Canada. 16 June 2017.
  24. ^ "The Cingular Flip 2 is AT&T's newest clamshell phone". www.PhoneArena.com. Phone Arena.
  25. ^ "Alcatel MyFlip (A405DL)". Shop.TracFone.com. TracFone.
  26. ^ "Reliance Jio LYF 4G VoLTE feature phone: to run KaiOS, will have an app store too". IndianExpress.com. Indian Express. 20 July 2017.
  27. ^ "[Exclusive] Reliance Jio and Lyf's 4G VoLTE feature phone". Techpp.com. 13 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Jio phone booking - pre book Jio mobile online for 500 only". www.Jio.com. Jio.
  29. ^ "JioPhone 2 at Rs 2,999: WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, all on new feature phone". EconomicTimes.IndiaTimes.com. The Economic Times. 6 July 2018.
  30. ^ "The return of the Nokia 8110 - 'the banana phone'". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies. 7 June 2018.
  31. ^ "The Nokia 8110 is back". MyBroadband.co.za.
  32. ^ Leung, Eletta (5 September 2019). "Introducing the Nokia 2720 Flip and 800 Tough, powered by KaiOS". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies.
  33. ^ "Doro's 7050 is the next great simple phone". UK.PCmag.com. 26 February 2018.
  34. ^ "CAT B35 rugged feature phone launched with KaiOS, Google apps and 4G". www.Gizmochina.com. Gizmochina. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  35. ^ "Maxcom at MWCA 2018". www.Maxcom.pl. Maxcom. 25 September 2018.
  36. ^ "Google WizPhone WP006 is a JioPhone competitor, but its launched in Indonesia". IndianExpress.com. Indian Express. 7 December 2018.
  37. ^ "MTN launches R300 smartphone with WhatsApp". MyBroadband.co.za. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ Leung, Eletta (15 August 2019). "The first TECNO device running KaiOS is here: Meet the T901". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies.
  40. ^ "MWC 2018: Kai announces partnerships with mobile industry giants - KaiOS". www.KaiOStech.com. KaiOS Technologies. 26 February 2018.
  41. ^ "Mozilla helps modernize feature phones powered by Firefox tech". www.CNET.com. CNET. 11 March 2020.
  42. ^ "KaiOS 2.5 will run on feature phones with Qualcomm, Spreadtrum chipsets with just 256MB RAM". www.FoneArena.com. Fone Arena.
  43. ^ 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.
  44. ^ "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.
  45. ^ "GerdaOS: a custom ROM to liberate the heart of Kai". Gerda.Tech. Retrieved 17 March 2020.

External linksEdit