San Francisco and Hong Kong (January 11, 2021) — Today, KaiOS Technologies and the Wikimedia Foundation announce the launch of the official Wikipedia app for all KaiOS-enabled devices, available through the KaiStore. With the free app, people can search and explore more than 50 million articles on Wikipedia in over 100 languages.
Wikipedia forms the largest collaborative collection of free knowledge in human history. Now it’s available in an app designed specifically for first-time internet users on smart feature phones running KaiOS. With this launch, Wikipedia becomes available to millions of people in emerging markets in addition to the 1.5 billion unique devices that already access Wikipedia every month.
Wikipedia and KaiOS share a mission of empowering all people through the Internet by creating equal access to free, quality content that helps people learn and experience the world. Two hundred eighty thousand volunteers write, debate, and fact-check Wikipedia’s articles, so readers can trust that the information on Wikipedia is neutral and reliable.
“Wikipedia embodies the values we cherish at KaiOS,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “The website equalizes access to quality and relevant information, and it’s one of the, if not the best example of the power and potential of the Internet to make a positive impact on people’s lives. It’s been our longtime wish to become partners, and the whole team here is extremely excited to have the official Wikipedia app launched on KaiOS.”
“Through the Wikipedia app on KaiOS devices, millions of people will be able to access the world’s knowledge for the first time,” said Toby Negrin, Chief Product Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation. “This new app was built by our engineers based in these markets, working directly with local users to understand their needs and the languages in which they look for information. With today’s announcement, we are able to put knowledge directly in the hands of new Wikipedia readers as we move closer to our vision of a world where all people can participate in the sum of all knowledge.”
The Product team at the Wikimedia Foundation designed the app specifically for KaiOS, taking into account the lack of a touchscreen on smart feature phones and the specific needs of first-time internet users in emerging markets. The team initially launched the app in India, where it quickly hit 1.4 million downloads. The app is now available in nearly all countries around the world, on both 256 and 512 MB RAM KaiOS devices.
Since the first KaiOS-enabled device hit the market in 2017, KaiOS has gained widespread popularity. Over 140 million devices have shipped worldwide, with a unique mix of capability and affordability breaking new ground for mobile devices.
Designed to run on low-spec hardware, KaiOS is a light operating system leveraging open, web-based technologies such as HTML5 to create a rich, intuitive user experience and enable access to essential apps and other internet-based resources. In addition, the open architecture of KaiOS allows developers to easily create apps for KaiOS, reaching a previously untapped audience on smart feature phones. The Wikipedia app is now available for download from the KaiStore in more than 100 countries with active KaiOS users.
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 135 million devices shipped in over 150 countries.
Their mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organisations 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 the Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.
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Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource. It is a collaborative creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people from around the globe since it was created in 2001: everyone can edit it, at any time. Wikipedia is offered in more than 300 languages containing a total of more than 55 million articles. It is the largest, collaborative collection of free knowledge in human history, and today its content is contributed and edited by a community of more than 280,000 volunteer editors each month.
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge freely. We host Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive.
The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive donations from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.