Google has announced that the JioPhone will be the first feature phone which will have Google Assistant support.
The Indian market has over 500 million feature phones and Google plans to reach out to many of such feature phone owners through its AI assistant. It isn’t clear yet if JioPhone is the only feature phone in Google’s roadmap or is it the first of many.
JioPhone is a 4G feature phone that runs KaiOS, a custom operating system based on Firefox OS. The JioPhon, launched earlier this year is available for free (with a deposit) and even has its own voice assistant, HelloJio.
Google is bringing a customised version of the Google Assistant with Hindi voice support, that is adapted to the device’s 2.4-inch QVGA colour screen. While the interface will be much different than the one found on Android and iOS devices, the core functionalities of the Google Assitant are expected to be the same.
Google might end up working with Nokia well to bring Google Assistant to its line of feature phones as well but, that is not confirmed yet.