Jio Phone now stands at over 25 million user base and has catapulted the sales of the feature phones in India, so much so that the Mukesh Ambani-owned company has even introduced the sequel to Jio Phone – the Jio Phone 2. Both the Jio Phone models run on KaiOS, which is a mobile ecosystem developed by Mozilla. At the launch of Jio Phone 2, the company announced that the popular messaging app WhatsApp is coming to Jio Phone, along with YouTube. Separately, Google announced an investment of $22 million into KaiOS, suggesting that Google apps could make their way into the operating system soon. Along the same lines, Jio Phone has now received support for Google Maps as a part of the new update.
Google Maps is now available on Jio Phone as a toned down app that offers basic functionality, meaning you can do basic things such as searching a location, seeing the map and your location, checking the ETA on multiple transit modes, and more. The Jio Phone update version 2018.628.2 brings the Google Maps to the ‘effectively’ free smart feature phone. The users need to head to the software settings and update the phone firmware. After that, the user should head to Jio Store app where he/she will begin seeing Google Maps.
The Google Maps support is also expected to arrive on the Jio Phone 2 and the new versions of the Jio Phone that will begin selling in India now.
Google Maps is the third app from Google that has been remoulded to suit the entry-level specifications on the feature phones running KaiOS. While Jio Phone now touts Google Maps, the other phones such as Nokia 8110 4G running KaiOS are still to gain support for Google Maps and YouTube. Interestingly, both Jio Phone and Nokia 8110 4G now support WhatsApp. The Nokia 8110 4G is not available in India, which makes Jio Phone gain some edge over it.
Jio Phone was launched last year in India as ‘Desh ka Smartphone’ offering smart features such as online music and video streaming on a feature phone. It comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of onboard storage, which is expandable further via microSD card. The smart feature phone has a 2-megapixel camera on the rear while a VGA camera sits on the front. Powering the internals of the Jio Phone is a 2000mAh battery under the hood.