Instant messaging app WhatsApp has started rolling out to JioPhone and JioPhone 2 handsets. All JioPhone handsets are expected to receive WhatsApp support by September 20.
“For the first time, WhatsApp will be available for JioPhone across India. WhatsApp built a new version of its private messaging app for JioPhone, running the KaiOS operating system," Reliance Jio Infocomm and Whatsapp said in a joint statement.
Users can download Whatsapp on both the JioPhone and the JioPhone 2 by visiting the JioStore and clicking on ‘download’.
Jio had earlier announced that JioPhone would support WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Google Maps, starting 15 August. However, the initial roll out of apps on the Independence Day included all apps but WhatsApp.
JioPhone runs a customised version of WhatsApp that is tweaked for the simple and bare-basic interface of the JioPhone. Right after opening WhatsApp, users are greeted with their chat list along with a search bar on top, which allows them to look for contacts and groups.
Within a chat window, JioPhone’s version of WhatsApp supports all the basic features of WhatsApp, including sending voice recordings, videos and photos.
“Millions of people across India can now use WhatsApp private messaging on the best-in-class JioPhone across India. By designing this new app for KaiOS, we hope to expand the ability for people to communicate with anyone in India and around the world," Chris Daniels, Vice President, WhatsApp said.
The “smart-feature" phone comes with a 2.4-inch display, a full QWERTY keypad with a 4-way navigation pad, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage that can be expandable up to 128GB via MicroSD card. It also supports apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Maps and YouTube with an added accessibility advantage of having Google Assistant. It is backed by a 2,000mAh battery and provides VoLTE and VoWiFi connectivity along with Bluetooth, GPS and NFC. To click photos, it features a 2MP rear camera and a VGA selfie camera.