Hong Kong <8 June 2021> — KaiOS Technologies and WhatsApp released an update that enables WhatsApp VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for KaiOS-enabled devices worldwide. The new feature is available to millions of smart feature phone users with the latest version of the app on  KaiOS devices worldwide equipped with 512MB RAM. 

“People are relying on WhatsApp now more than ever to communicate and stay in touch with their loved ones. We want to support communities who are on lighter operating systems in many places around the world. Bringing WhatsApp voice calls to KaiOS-enabled devices helps us connect the world privately through a service that is simple, reliable and accessible to everyone – no matter what kind of mobile device they’re using” said Matt Idema, COO of WhatsApp.

Committed to closing the digital divide, WhatsApp and KaiOS have worked closely together to ensure that even underserved populations have access to the technology needed to communicate in a simple and cost-effective way. Since its launch on KaiOS back in mid-2019, WhatsApp has been made available to millions of people in emerging markets for the first time. KaiOS users have been enjoying WhatsApp in the form of text messaging, voice messaging and sharing media, all  secured with end-to-end encryption by default to keep private conversations private. WhatsApp is now the top KaiOS non-system app with the highest monthly active users (MAU) worldwide. 

With the voice calling feature update, the app now allows voice calls over the Internet using Wi-Fi or mobile data, rather than pulling voice minutes from cellular plans. The new feature further enhances the overall KaiOS user experience, especially now, when strong mobility restrictions make platforms like WhatsApp and features like voice calls over the internet crucial for people to stay connected and handle basic life needs. As the only OS worldwide to natively support WhatsApp on affordable feature phones, KaiOS becomes an even more sustainable solution for carriers with WhatsApp VoIP, while tapping into the more than two billion 2G users to guide them toward more advanced, efficient technology.

“As demand for instant, effective communications has surged in the COVID-19 era, it is critical to ensure this transformation can also be reached to the emerging markets and those who are less digital savvy, at a faster speed and scale,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “Together with WhatsApp, we are taking another significant step towards the goal to make essential, useful services accessible for everyone, including underserved communities, seniors looking for simple devices and those using KaiOS devices as a companion phone. Now with the voice calling feature, users can easily place a call anytime anywhere in a cost-effective way.”

How to activate:
WhatsApp VoIP is available on most of the new and existing KaiOS devices with:

  • 512MB RAM
  • the latest WhatsApp version 2.2110.41

To activate the new feature, KaiOS users should update the current version of WhatsApp on their devices by accepting the update notification within the app.  For new devices, the VoIP feature will be included in the latest version of WhatsApp, which is pre-installed upon shipment. 

About KaiOS Technologies  
KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 150 million devices shipped in over 150 countries. Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and many more.  

For more information about KaiOS, please visit www.kaiostech.com and www.twitter.com/KaiOSTech 

KaiOS Media Contact  
Eletta Leung 

About WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a private message app that is simple, reliable, and secure. More than 2 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere. WhatsApp is not only free but also available on multiple mobile devices and in low connectivity areas. It’s a simple and private way to share your favorite moments, send important information or catch up with a friend. You can send and receive photos, videos, documents and, when that’s not enough, you can make a video call or share a voice message. All messages and calls are secure with end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp helps people connect and share no matter where they are in the world.