Google maybe working on a new “touch-less” Android OS for feature phones

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April 29, 2019
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Despite the fact that Android is the most popular OS in the world, some new uncovered screenshots suggest that Google is working on a new “touch-less” operating system based on Android Oreo for feature phones.

As many of you are aware, feature phones dominated the market a decade ago. The arrival of iPhone and Android phones pushed the feature phones towards extinction. However, recent attempts by Nokia to re-introduce feature phones to the smartphone market indicates a change in trend. Interestingly, the feature phone market is still somewhat active in the Asian market where the primary emphasis is on budget smartphones.

Catering to the demand for a fluid OS on feature phones, Google is now working on making Android available for low-end devices without touchscreens. Currently, the feature smartphone market is mostly dominated by Nokia’s feature phones which run on Nokia’s KaiOS. Google now working on an android version for feature phone means that its new touch-less OS will be a direct competitor to KaiOS.

Google recently provided some screenshots for Chrome’s public translation team, although the pictures were immediately removed, however, ‘9to6Google’ was able to save those screenshots. Latest screenshots show a “touch-less” chrome (Android Oreo version). As you can see from the screenshots provided below, the UI shows a re-designed version of Chrome’s new tab page with a condensed “Article for you” section. Above the “Articles for you” section, there are various icons with the description of “All apps”.

Taking a closer look at the notification panel at the top left corner of the screen shows the Android Oreo style notifications. The fact that Google chose Android Oreo over Android P is still a mystery to us. A probable reason could be that Android Pie is heavily based on Gesture base Navigation which is practically useless in a feature phone.

Other than Google’s latest project of a “touch-less” Operating System, Google also provides ‘Android Go’ for low-end touch smartphones and ‘Android One’ for mid-tier smartphones. It seems that Google’s future strategy for its smartphone Operating system will be based on the categorization of Android OS based on the hardware specification of the smartphone. For a smartphone as diverse as Android, the strategy seems practical rather than ideal.

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