Google has announced at its Google For India 2017 event that the JioPhone by Reliance Jio will be the first feature phone that will be able to run Google Assistant. After being available for nearly all modern smartphones, including the ones that run Android and iOS, Google wants to reach millions of feature phones in India, and the JioPhone would be the first phone in that direction.
Google Assistant on JioPhone: What can it do?
The JioPhone runs KaiOS, which is a custom operating system based on the Firefox OS. The phone will be able to run Google Assistant, which can do all the things it can do on Android and iOS. It was announced that it will be able to answer questions, play music and videos (stored on the memory card), make calls, and send texts through voice commands in English as well as Hindi. The rollout timeframe wasn’t announced, but it is possible for the rollout to start in the next few weeks.
The Jio Phone is a feature phone from Reliance Jio, one of the newest and most popular cellular operator in the country. It is a 4G LTE capable phone with a 2.4-inch non-touchscreen display with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. It uses a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, NFC, and a 2000mAh battery. It has support for Facebook and YouTube apps as well as Jio’s apps, including JioCinema, JioMusic, JioTV, and JioXpressNews.
Google Assistant’s rollout to the JioPhone will mark its entry into the feature phone segment, and the company could already be working with other brands such as Nokia for a wider release, but that’s just our assumption. The Indian mobile phone market has over 500 million feature phones, and Google wants to reach as many as of them with its artificial intelligence-powered digital voice assistant.
Google Assistant: Other compatible devices
Google Assistant is available for almost all Android smartphones running Android 6.0 and up. It is also available for Android Wear 2.0-based smartwatches and iOS-based smartphones. Some other devices running the Google Assistant include Google Home, Google Home Mini, Google Home Max, Google PixelBook, Nvidia Shield TV, Android TV-based television sets, Bose QC35 II headphones, JBL Link, Sonos One, and more.