30 April 2019
Google seems to be introducing a new version of Android that would work on feature phones, which means as a touchless version. 9to5Google has noticed a new commit which suggests that there’s a new version of Android in the works. Well, the screenshots which the tech site was able to retrieve suggests this to be more like a system that can be easily controlled by physical buttons.
As you would see, the status bar has Android Oreo-style system icons, suggesting that this version of Chrome is running on Android Oreo-based OS. Had it not shown the screenshots, we would have thought it to be the touchless version of the Chrome browser.
It’s unknown why Google has selected an old version over the Android Pie. Folks over at XDA Developers looked into the code to get more insights but didn’t find anything. This is quite an early spotting of the said version, it could be possible that this new version is for testing purposes only.
Google’s Android OS has the biggest market share; it’s everywhere, from smartphones to tablets, and many other kinds of devices. In fact, with Android Go, Google has made the foothold of Android further concrete. But there’s still one market which is untouched and this is the feature phones’ market. Feature phones run on KaiOS but not on the version of Android, but seems like this will change further.
Smartphones’ market has evolved so much but still, there are people who like to use feature phones as their daily driver. In fact, it’s used as a secondary phone by many. So, it’s an apt time to bring something for such users as well. The majority of users in developing countries like India, still only do basic functions and rely on them. These features often are calling, messaging, 3G only. Apparently, Google seems to be trying in this segment as well.
This is just an early clue and we can’t rely much on it, though Google I/O seems to be the best platform if Google has anything such in the making.