At its Annual General Meet (AGM) on June 28, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio announced that JioPhone would support WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Google Maps, starting 15 August, i.e. today. The company has lived up to the promise, well somewhat. Starting today, JioPhone will support Facebook, YouTube and Google Maps but WhatsApp will start rolling out in the coming days.

This means you’ll be able to connect with your friends through Facebook, watch videos on YouTube and find your way on Maps starting today, but you’ll miss out chatting on WhatsApp for at least a few days if you’re a JioPhone user.

How does it feel to use these apps on JioPhone?

KaiOS, the developers behind the software for the Jio smart feature phones, has ensured the UI for these apps is pretty simple and optimised for a low-end device. The overall feel of the apps are snappy and they all retain the core features, Hindustan Times reports. However, the navigation might be a bit cumbersome for many users who already use these apps on their touch-enabled smartphones, as it requires multiple key presses to perform simple tasks like typing out a search query.

JioPhone runs a customised version of WhatsApp that is tweaked for the simple and bare-basic interface of the JioPhone. Right after opening WhatsApp, you’re greeted with your chat list along with a search bar on top, which allows you to look for contacts and groups. To the left you have a ‘new chat’ option and on the right you have the ‘more’ button.

WhatsApp’s simplified interface optimised for KaiOS. Photo: HT Photo
WhatsApp’s simplified interface optimised for KaiOS. Photo: HT Photo

Within a chat window, you’ll immediately notice that this version of WhatsApp supports all the basic features of WhatsApp, including sending voice recordings, videos and photos.

KaiOS received a $22 million dollar funding from Google in June. This funding will pave way for more apps on the smart feature phone.

The registrations for JioGigaFiber opened today, while the JioPhone 2 will go on sale from tomorrow at a price of 2,999 on Jio.com.

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