Earlier this yr, we exposed screenshots of a “touchless” version of Chrome which appears to be designed for feature-smartphone-like gadgets. New screenshots we have been able to attain have shown that this “touchless” Chrome is being built for a model of Android Oreo.
When we, in the beginning, dug into touchless Chrome, we were moderately certain, from where the relevant code was placed, that the unique app becomes supposed for Android, but we didn’t have sufficient proof to be sure.
Making Android to be had for low-stop devices without touchscreens could maximum possibly put Google into direct opposition with KaiOS feature telephones, in spite of the 2 businesses currently becoming companions.
In an extra recent devote tied to touchless Chrome, Google supplied extra screenshots for Chrome’s public translation group, however, these had been rapidly removed. Thankfully, we have been in a position shop one screenshot earlier than the removal happened and recover the opposite.
The screenshots very sincerely depict a redesigned model of Chrome’s New Tab Page with a condensed “Articles for you” section. Above the recommended articles, we see four icons and textual content reading “All apps.”
Digging into the touchless code, we discover that this “All apps” text is used to expose the name of the web page icon you hovered over. When hovered over any other website online, along with the Facebook icon, we’d probably see something like “Facebook” as an alternative. “All apps” is just the name used in touchless Chrome for the app’s Explore Sites feature.
The reality that Google took the time to redecorate the New Tab Page confirms that this isn’t simply intended for use to check websites on smaller, touchless gadgets. Instead, this touchless Chrome appears to be a completely-featured browser for feature phones.
The key detail of these screenshots, however, is absolutely no longer a part of Chrome. In the top left corner of both screenshots, we can see Android 8.1 Oreo’s “Android System” notification within the status bar. This confirms without a shadow of a doubt that Chrome’s touchless mode is being constructed for a variant of Android Oreo.
That, of a path, begs the question—why Oreo and now not Pie or even Android Q? Why is Google basing this touchless attempt on a model of Android this is approximate to be years obsolete? Even Android Go, Google’s existing application for low-cease devices, has already visible update to Pie. We haven’t determined any beneficial clues at the Android facet of factors, and all the Chromium insects associated with touchless Chrome are marked private.
Google I/O is just around the nook, even though, and a brand new layout for Android combined with a new edition of Chrome, seemingly centered for the characteristic telephones of Google’s Next Billion Users, looks like it may be a large sufficient assertion for that event. Perhaps we’ll analyze extra approximately touchless Chrome and the way it ties in with Android there.