When we think of Android phones the first thing that comes to mind is a smartphone with a touchscreen display, but as surprising as it may sound, Android was originally designed to work with phones that had keys. Now, it seems like the world's most popular mobile operating system (OS) is soon going back to its roots, thanks to Nokia.
According to a new report from XDA Developers, we might get to see Android make its way onto a touchless feature phone very soon. The report claims that an updated listing from the Wi-Fi Alliance mentions an upcoming device from HMD Global Oy called Nokia 400 4G, which will include an operating system dubbed GAFP.
Nokia feature phone running Android
XDA, which was the first to spot the Nokia handset with model number TA-1208 on the wireless certification body's website, suggests that the phone originally appeared on the site in August 2019, but the listing was updated recently to include more information.
The site spotted the phone on the updated listing and pointed out that the GAFP OS has been mentioned previously in a leak relating to an Android-powered feature phone which was reported last year by 9to5Google.
Apparently, 9to5Google had shared an image of the first feature phone running Android OS and claimed that the image was sent to them by an unnamed tipster. The phone had no visible branding but the keypad looked "suspiciously similar" to a Nokia feature phone.
A couple of months later, 9to5Google got a hands-on video of the reported Android-powered feature phone and the GAFP acronym was mentioned under the About Phone option on the phone, according to the XDA report.
Now we know how Kai OS works with smart feature phones, but exactly how Android would work with touchless keypad-sporting phones is unknown at the moment. However, the hands-on video does suggest that the interface looks a lot like regular Android. The full hands-on video has since been removed by YouTube and Vimeo.
What is GAFP?
GAFP is said to be a "touchless" version of the Android interface which will have only specific applications that will be compatible with a non-touch device. We say this because a lot of the app developers specifically made their apps for a touchscreen device, so considering that feature phones typically do not have a touchscreen, only some apps will be compatible with such devices.
We are also unsure about what the acronym 'GAFP' stands for, but XDA suggests that it has an inkling that it might stand for 'Google Android for Feature Phones' or 'Google Apps for Feature Phones'.
Whatever the case, the listing indicates that the launch is imminent and it is highly possible that we might get to see a glimpse of the Nokia 400 4G at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year. If not then, we could expect at least something related to this at the Google I/O conference which is set for May 2020.