List of Google Services (Mostly) for India
As Google turns 18, it held its second Google for India, here in Delhi. The tech corporation is looking to further capture the next cohort of Indians to come online for the very first time, and all the apps and service feature enhancements announced at the event will be about customizing for this huge untapped market which in turn can be leveraged with Google advertisers.
We start by listing two existing community development projects with impressive figures
A public Wi-Fi project in partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel
This is free to use to begin with, but the long term goal is to make the partnership self-sustainable. Launched in Mumbai Central last year, it’s now available at 52 railways across India, has 3.5 million users a month with 15,000 new users daily. Average data usage per person per month is about 600MB - with access to public Wi-Fi this increases by 20 times.
Internet Saathi in partnership with TATA Trusts
An attempt to gap the gender divide by training women on how to use internet to better their lives. Google claims they have already trained a million women across 10 states. Like Nagalakshmi of Somavaram: “I learnt how to use the internet from Bujji, an Internet Saathi in our village. I looked at pictures and videos for blouse designs and have started making intricate new designs. I used to sell a blouse for Rs. 100. Now, I sell them for Rs. 300. I am able to send my daughter to a good school and pay the fees on time.”
Some of the services were ones we already know about like Google Duo and Google Allo. Here are the new ones:
Leading from the success of the Wi-fi project at railways, comes this new platform. It will allow carriers, system integrators and venues like malls and restaurants partnering with Google, to launch high quality user friendly Wi-Fi hotspots. Caesar Sengupta, VP for Next Billion Users, noted monetization of Google Stations is a decision up to the partners and ended with “if you are anyone carrying a fibre optic, connect with us at station.google.com.”
Google Play Store
An option will now let you choose between downloading apps over Wi-Fi or over data/cellular network (a feature Windows already has)
Voice recognition and Indic language capabilities
The Google Assistant in Hindi will be made available within messaging app Allo. Google Search will soon support voice recognition in Hindi and answers in Hindi in an accent similar to a Hindi accent. Voice recognition of local languages in noisy environments is also something Google has had a lot of work done on.
“Data Saver Mode” for Google Chrome
Team Google says there are one billion monthly users on just Chrome mobile. Number of Indian users opting for data saving features tripled just last year. These users were able to save data up to 60%. That is a savings of 337 terabytes a week, or 7 crore rupees a week. The newly launched “Data Saver Mode” enables data saving for up to 67% of video data across mobile devices and computers. Web pages viewed on Chrome on Android will now be automatically optimized when bandwidth drops to 2G. This makes page loads twice as fast and saves 90% data.
According to the YouTube team, there has been a 90% increase in Indians going on YouTube using a computer and a 130% increase of Indians going on YouTube on mobile. This is despite the problems of low bandwidth, poor connectivity, and data and device affordability.
In 2014, YouTube Offline was launched to allow watch video watching while user is offline. In 2016, Smart Offline was launched to allow users to schedule video downloading for when there is more freely available faster, cheaper bandwidth.
After more research into what Indians want, the team has come up with YouTube Go. It’s intended to be hyper local, plays video even with low bandwidth and on feature phones. The homepage is a simple list of ten video suggestions and is intended to be easily navigable.
User can watch a preview of the video and decide whether to watch it or not. When offline, the preview is a 6 second bumper, which YouTube developers say will retain value for advertisers. Users can also choose to watch video save video in either low or standard quality of image clarity while sending and receiving videos via Bluetooth, without the need to use data.
Slated to be released in 2017, if you want to be a part of YouTube Go research sign up at youtubego.com/signup.
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