Jio Phone is getting a special version of Google Assistant, marking the first time the Internet giant’s AI-based virtual assistant will come to a feature phone. It will be the second digital assistant for Jio Phone, however, as the 4G VoLTE-capable handset already comes preloaded with an assistant that can take voice commands. The Google Assistant version for Jio Phone will be available in English and Hindi, and respond to voice search queries. However, there is no official word on when it will be released for the handset.
In a demo shown at the Google for India event, where Google Assistant for Jio Phone was announced, Google showed that its software will be able to deliver search results, play music and send text message, all using voice commands. It is not yet known when the software will be released for the handset, or when regional languages will be added to the roster.
Gummi Hafsteinsson, Product Management Director, Google, said, “Whether in entry-level smartphones or Jio Phone, Google Assistant can help you call, text, play music and videos, and access other apps.”
As for the Jio Phone features and specifications, the 4G VoLTE feature phone has a 2.4-inch display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor under the hood, backed by 512MB of RAM. The operating system keeping the handset running is KAI OS, and the device has 4GB of internal storage, with microSD support up to 128GB. You get Wi-Fi support, 2000mAh battery, and NFC for digital payments.
Unique features of Jio Phone include support for 22 Indian languages, a voice assistant to control certain functions, and the option to mirror content playing on the phone to the TV using a proprietary cable. The first Jio-branded phone will come preloaded with apps such as JioCinema, JioMusic, JioTV, and JioXpressNews, along with popular instant messaging and social networking apps. It was unveiled in July and started shipping in October; it is effectively free, but buyers need to pay Rs. 1,500 as security deposit (refundable after three years).