Google for India: New products launched based on local usage scenarios

Google announced YouTube Go, Google Assistant in Hindi, Google Station Wi-Fi platform, faster Chrome browsing and more for Indian users at an event today.


Google has announced multiple products for India at the Google For India event in Delhi, on the day the company celebrated its eighteenth birthday. These products are aimed squarely at India, along with two global platforms inspired by the needs of Indian users. These products are built around economical use of data, intermittent connectivity, and specifics of data plans available to Indian consumers.

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The new products include YouTube Go, a version of YouTube tailored around how Indians consume data. There is Google Assistant in Hindi, coming by end of this year to the Allo instant messaging app. Google Play will offer faster browsing, even on 2G connections. The Google Station Wi-Fi platform was introduced, to provide fast connectivity in public places. Users will partner with locals to invest in Google Station access points. Google Chrome for mobiles now has new data saving features.

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Next Billion Users is an initiative by Google focused on the next wave of users in South Asia. Caesar Sengupta, Vice-President of Next Billion Users said, "Our goal has not just been to help more Indians get online — but also to help Indians create the online experience they want; one that serves their needs and enables them to have an impact on the entire world. So we have been thinking about how to build products and services for this wave of new users — products that work for any level of connectivity, in local Indian languages, and across the devices that are most frequently used in India."

A group of testers in India will have early access to YouTube Go. YouTube Go allows users to preview videos to save data costs. Users will be able to save videos, in a size of their choice, and send these to their friends or family locally, without using data. This allows for users to have a lot more control over data consumption, while viewing videos on YouTube. YouTube Go will be a dedicated, standalone application. Those who want to be in the group of testers who get to try it out first, can do so by signing up here.

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Assistant is a conversational intelligent agent by Google that made a debut on Allo. Google Assistant helps with translation, weather, news and games. Assistant can also be used in a group to speed up searching and planning. One person in the group can look for a movie, while another may narrow it down to action films, all within a conversation. Google Assistant will be available in Hindi by the end of the year.

Inspired by the success of deploying Wi-Fi hotspots at railway stations in a partnership with RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways, Google introduced a platform known as Google Station. Google Station will offer telecom operators, venues and system integrators to set up high quality, user friendly Wi-Fi access points in public places. This means better internet access in densely populated urban areas, such as stadiums, malls and hospitals.

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Chrome now has a data saver mode for mp4 videos, saving over two-thirds of the data consumed. Simplified and optimized pages will be loaded when there is low connectivity detected, which is particularly tailored for 2G connectivity. Users can save multimedia files in Chrome's offline mode, which will allow the content to be accessible even when the user is not online. If a download is interrupted because the user went offline, it will resume the next time the user gets connected.

These announcements show the extent Google is willing to focus on India. Rajan Anandan, Vice-President of India and South East Asia at Google said “Our vision is to make India a global hub of innovation and produce high quality mobile developers who will build not just for India but for the world.”


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