The first feature phone in America with Google Assistant

The first feature phone in America with Google Assistant

We have already taken a take a look at KaiOS, the working system for flip telephones that Google has invested thousands and thousands of {dollars} into. It is designed to carry enhancements from the smartphone period, reminiscent of private machine monitoring and VoLTE, again to the world (and worth level) of characteristic telephones. The platform is already a smash hit in nations like India, however till now, the one KaiOS telephones to seem in the US are working older OS variations with the app retailer and different options lacking.

The Alcatel Go Flip 3 is the primary full-featured KaiOS cellphone to be formally out there in the US. It runs the most recent model of KaiOS (v2.5), and comes with Google Assistant, YouTube, Google Maps, an app retailer, and different options you’d usually anticipate to see on a smartphone.

Sensible characteristic cellphone?

On the floor, the Go Flip Three seems like each different low-end flip cellphone offered at your native provider retailer. Nonetheless, the variations change into obvious when you begin utilizing it. Google Assistant, YouTube, and Google Maps are displayed prominently on the principle dwelling display screen, with the KaiOS app retailer additionally highlighted. Some system options normally solely reserved for smartphones are current, like Wi-Fi calling. KaiOS likes to name its gadgets “sensible characteristic telephones.”

Google Assistant is among the major promoting factors of the Go Flip 3, activated by choosing it from the house display screen or by holding down the middle button for a couple of seconds. This model of the Assistant is generally unchanged from once I final tried a KaiOS cellphone whereas it might open apps, name folks, and reply primary data questions, it might’t log right into a Google account (to regulate my sensible dwelling gadgets), set reminders, or play podcasts.

Google Maps for KaiOS has seen some enhancements. It is now not only a hyperlink to the cellular internet app, because it was earlier than, and it has higher assist for the cellphone’s navigation buttons. Whereas there’s nonetheless no turn-by-turn navigation, you may simply get instructions and discover places round you. There’s even voice search, in case you do not wish to meticulously kind names with the T9 keyboard.

YouTube, annoyingly, remains to be only a container for the cellular internet app. You must management an on-screen cursor to scroll via movies and faucet buttons. Not that I feel most individuals would need to observe 144p movies on this tiny display screen, however Google might make it barely higher.

The opposite pre-installed apps are principally what you’ll anticipate on a characteristic cellphone. You get an online browser (nonetheless Firefox, since KaiOS relies on Firefox OS), a digicam, FM radio, an e mail consumer, a music participant, a voice recorder, and so forth. A number of dozen different apps may be discovered within the KaiOS app retailer, together with Fb, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

Parallel evolution

It is attention-grabbing to see KaiOS proceed to evolve alongside Android and iOS, and it is nice {that a} cellphone with all the platform’s options is lastly out there in the US. The marketplace for characteristic telephones in America is undeniably within the minority (roughly 81% of all cellphone homeowners within the US use a smartphone), however the Alcatel Go Flip Three is an efficient improve for somebody already on a flip cellphone.

I’ve seen a couple of folks suggest KaiOS gadgets as a very good choice for kicking smartphone additions, however you may set up Fb and Twitter simply as simply right here as you’ll on a smartphone, so I am undecided how efficient of a tactic that may be.

The Alcatel Go Flip is on the market as we speak at T-Cellular, Metro by T-Cellular, and AT&T  the latter is promoting it beneath the identify ‘Alcatel SmartFlip.’ T-Cellular and Metro are charging $100 for the cellphone, which looks like far an excessive amount of cash, however AT&T has it for $60. The cellphone can also be alleged to be out there at Cricket Wi-fi, however there would not appear to be a product web page there but.

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