A video allegedly showing off an unreleased version of Google & # 39; s Android for feature phones has been posted online. 9to5Google reports that the video shows a Nokia device and that a user can activate Google Assistant and scroll through an app selection screen that contains a range of apps and services from Google.
Google & # 39; s work on Android for feature phones was first rumored earlier this year, then 9to5Google discovered references in Chromium source code to a new & # 39; contactless & # 39; Google browser mode, designed for devices without touchscreen. Later screenshots came forward suggesting that this touchless mode was intended for function phones. However, earlier this month Google seemed to delete this code, which suggests that it has suspended or reversed its plans.
In addition to apps such as Google Maps, YouTube and Facebook, the prototype also seems to have installed an app called Proxx, that 9to5Google notes is a minesweeper clone that Google described in detail earlier this year his Google I / O conference. The app was intended to show you how to design an app that can be scaled from desktops to simple phones with a function like the one in this video.
The device settings screen displays the version of Android running as version 8.1 and describes the phone as "Iron GAFP" as the device's device. 9to5Google speculates that this could stand for & # 39; Google Android Feature Phone & # 39 ;.
Without official confirmation from Google that the function phone operating system existed in the first place, it is difficult to know why it may stop development. However, last year the company invested $ 22 million in KaiOS, an alternative phone operating system based on the discontinued Firefox OS. KaiOS & # 39; s website displays a list of the most important apps featured in the leaked video from Google & # 39; s feature phone operating system, including Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook and the Google Assistant. WhatsApp is also compatible with the operating system.
Because KaiOS already provides access to Google's apps and services on feature phones, Google could have argued that it had little to gain by developing its own OS for a feature phone, meaning that this video might come closest to a real one Android function phone OS.