Google Aims To Compete With KaiOS By Introducing A "Touchless" Chrome

The latest addition in Chromium Gerrit affirms the arrival of “touchless” version of Chrome, that will let Google compete against the recently popular cloud based mobile platform KaiOS. The screenshots obtained by 9to5Google, further indicated that the “touchless” Chrome is being designed for the budget friendly feature-phone-like devices and is based on Android Oreo.

Previously, Google first partnered up with KaiOS for the expansion of its AI Assistant across various operating systems. But now as the speculations are revolving around Android being a part of low-end devices without touchscreens, both will soon end up becoming strict competitors.

The news first broke out when Google posted two additional screenshots of “touchless” Chrome for the public translation team. Although these were swiftly removed after a short while, 9to5Google still managed to save one of them for the Android fans.

Google Aims To Compete With KaiOS By Introducing A "Touchless" Chrome
Screenshot: 9to5google

Looking at these screenshots, one can easily see that Chrome has completely redesigned the New Tab page for its touchless version. The highlight has been an ‘Articles for you’ section and the four icons that will represent “All Apps” - a shortcut to your most favorite pages.

It seems like Google took a lot of time to thoroughly redesign the pages. The screenshots also showed Android 8.1 Oreo’s “Android System” notification in the status bar on the top left corner and if we dig down into the details of touchless code, one can safely assume that Chrome will be a fully featured browser built specifically for a variant of Android Oreo.


Lately, Google has also been struggling to make the accessibility features perform better. As smartphones are getting bigger, screen readers and other current methods for performing input actions couldn't evolve with the same pace. So, with the introduction of this move, based on KaiOS, the company might be aiming to increase accessibility of their own operating system.


Photo: KaiOS Technologies

With Google I/0 2019 just around the corner, one can expect some large hardware announcements. Honestly, we are also predicting for a new format of Android that might release with a new version of Chrome. Together this can be an ideal plan for feature phones of Google’s Next Billion Users.

Read next: Google joins forces with Childish Gambino for an AR-based app

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