There was a time when Google planned on putting Android on feature phones, sometimes called dumb phones, to contrast with the more predominant smartphone breed. Lacking touch screens, Android would have needed to be driven using physical D-Pads and buttons and voice commands. Instead, Google eventually settled for integrating Google Assistant into another OS designed specifically for those very low-end phones. That arrangement appeared to have worked well for quite a number of these phones, including Nokia-branded ones. Still, Google Assistant is reportedly missing a couple of features now with no explanation or warning.
KaiOS is just about the present-day descendant of the Symbian and S60 platforms of old, powering today’s generation of mobile phones. The OS brings a couple of modern conveniences to those phones that make them feel just a touch smarter. For a few who are ready to hook up with 4G networks, it even offers YouTube, Google Maps, and WhatsApp apps.
Access to Google Assistant is one among the highlights of KaiOS, enabling users to quickly launch apps or toggle features on or off with just their voice. Of course, it doesn’t have all the functionality that Google Assistant offers on smartphones, but the fundamentals are there, a minimum of until recently. Although KaiOS’ documentation still lists them, Google Assistant thereon OS has lost two of its top features.
Since April, KaiOS feature phone owners have complained about the lack to form calls or send messages. While the developers of the OS have mostly been silent, a representative from HMD Global may have confirmed users’ worst fears. Calling and SMS functionalities are indeed not supported, a minimum of on the Nokia 2720 V Flip.
It’s puzzling and disappointing that such features would suddenly disappear, especially since those save the foremost keypresses on such a tool. There’s no official explanation either from Google or KaiOS yet, however. Hopefully, there’s a significant reason for removing two of Google Assistant‘s most useful functions on the already underpowered phones.