A video supposedly showing a version of Google’s Android mobile operating system being used on a “touchless” Nokia handset has surfaced online.
The video shows a person turning on Google Assistant and browsing through an app selection menu.
A Settings section that looks similar to what is available on many Android-based smartphones can also be seen and shows that the device is running version 8.1.
Some of the other apps that appear include YouTube, Facebook, and a Chrome browser.
9to5Google reported earlier this year that they had discovered Google was busy developing a version of Chrome which could run on phones with no touchscreen, commonly referred to as feature phones.
The site claims it now appears that Google is backtracking on the idea, as sources indicated to 9to5Google that an instruction has been created to remove some of the work-in-progress software’s code.
Google has never officially acknowledged that it is working on an operating system suited to feature smartphones, but The Verge reports the company has invested $22 million in KaiOS, the Firefox-based operating system used in Nokia feature phones.
According to the KaiOS website, the OS supports several Google services and applications.
The need for another feature phone operating system could be rendered moot if Google already has plans to use KaiOS to roll out its various apps.
The prospect of having Google’s catalogue of apps on a feature phone may be intriguing to South Africans living in rural areas, who can only afford cheaper non-touch handsets.