Google announces India-inspired and India-first products

By : |September 27, 2016 0

On its birthday, Google sharpens its focus on India and went on to announce multiple India-inspired and India-first products. At the second edition of its signature Google for India event, Google announced five new products that are adapted for and aimed at expanding access to the Internet for users in India.

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Rajan Anandan, VP, India and South East Asia outlining efforts by Google to give all Indians access to the Internet

To begin with, there is now going to be a brand new video app, YouTube Go, designed and built from learnings in India. Another pathbreaking announcement was addition of Google assistant in Hindi to the recently launched Google Allo later this year. A Wi-Fi platform called Google Station inspired by success of Railwire Wi-Fi is also underway and also new data-saving features in Google Chrome for mobile.

John Giannandrea, Senior Vice-President, Search, talked through the improved support for more Indian languages in Google products and the evolution of Search to meet the needs of mobile users. Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager, announced that a preview of the Google Assistant will be launched in Hindi by the end of 2016 inside the brand new Allo messaging app.

Caesar Sengupta, Vice-President, Next Billion Users, outlined the three areas where Google is working to provide a better and more inclusive online experience for users in India: Access (connecting people to the Internet), Platforms (letting people and developers share through and build upon the Internet), and Products (providing better and more relevant Google experiences for Indians).

He further announced fast browsing in Google Play for people on 2G and other low-bandwidth connections. It should be noted that fast browsing launches today as an experiment exclusively to Play users in India. Fast browsing uses preloading on Wi-Fi to load the most popular parts of Google Play quickly. And when a user on a low-bandwidth connection chooses to install an app, Google Play will offer a new “Wait for Wi-Fi” option where the app will only install when the phone next connects to Wi-Fi.

Rajan Anandan, Vice-President, India and South East Asia, also reiterated Google’s efforts to overcome the gender divide by training women across rural India on how to access and use the Internet. In partnership with Tata Trusts, Google has already trained over a million women across ten states.

The Chrome on Android’s new Download feature will now allow users to save web pages, videos, music, or pictures. Downloaded items can be easily accessed in Chrome’s new downloads tab, even when offline. And if users go offline before the download is complete, the process will automatically resume next time they’re connected.

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Following the earlier footsteps and the successful partnership with RailTel and Indian Railways to provide Wi-Fi at railway stations in India — with 50+ stations now providing high-quality Internet to 3.5 million people each month — Caesar Sengupta announced a new Wi-Fi platform called Google Station.

Anandan also talked about the plans to take two million mobile developers on Android under their wing for training. He revealed that over 120,000 students have already enrolled in the Android Fundamentals course, and by next college semester, 200,000 engineering students will be learning how to develop Android applications. Google is also funding the installation of Google Developers Codelabs at major State Technical Universities in India.

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