Google is aggressively wooing Indian audiences with newer offerings and promises of better and improved service. As the search giant turns an adult (Google celebrated it’s 18th birthday today), they are pushing their products in the Indian market like never before. Google shifted from their traditional search engine business years ago and now dabble in multiple things. One of their main offerings is Youtube and revamping their YouTube app, Google announced an all new app called YouTube Go. The new app will not only help users view videos in the offline mode (similar to the traditional YouTube app) but will also allow users to share YouTube videos with friends via Bluetooth or other offline services. Also Read - Google Rolling Out New Feature 'Chrome Actions', to Allow Users to Type Commands in Address Bar
Another major change Google announced was Google Stations – a platform for WiFi services in India. Google entered the WiFi space with their Google Loon Balloon Project where they transmitted free WiFi across many regions in the world but then though we waited desperately, we did not get it. but what Google did promise (and deliver too) instead was free WiFi across multiple stations in the country. While initially, there were only a few stations chosen as part of the pilot project, with Google for India, Google has finally announced that they will be setting up a whole new project Google Stations which will provide WiFi to more regions and will expand the base to other public places – not restricted only to stations. Other areas where Google will be providing free WiFi are malls, cafes, universities, etc. Plans are on to also launch free WiFi at transit stations. Also Read - To Improve Readability, Communication, Google to Update Terms of Service on March 31
According to the Google Press Release, “Inspired by the success of the 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. This new platform will work with partners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots, offering carriers, system integrators (SIs), and venues an easy way to set up high-quality, user-friendly Wi-Fi. This will provide more people in India and around the world fast, reliable, and safe Wi-Fi in more of the places where they spend time, like malls, transit stations, and cafes.” Also Read - Google Chrome will soon identify and label slow loading websites
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The next change announced by Google was for their Chrome Browser. The Chrome Browser has been updated and is now faster, says Google. Chrome will now come with Data Saver mode which will help save data across all devices – web and smartphone. One of the biggest changes was made to the way users download data on Chrome. If while downloading the download is stopped suddenly for any reason like the user went offline – Google’s new Chrome will automatically resume the download once the user is back online. This is definitely a huge change as previously users would have to restart the entire download. Google has already been optimising pages in Chrome for slower connections but now, it will be extended across all pages and all sites where there will be easy-to-download options in case of slower connection.
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The new features on Chrome were announced by Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Vice-President, Product Management, Chrome. As per Google press release – Data Saver mode — which reduces the amount of data Chrome uses on Android mobile devices, computers, and Chromebooks — will now support MP4 videos, saving up to over two-thirds (67%) of video data. Chrome on Android will now also automatically optimize pages to their essentials when 2G-like networks are detected. These simplified pages load up to 2X faster, saving more than 90% of data usage. 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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The third most important announcement was with regards to Google Allo. Google already announced their messenger app Allo and even gave us a hint as to how Google Assistant will be when it finally launches. However, this time around, Google took things ahead and announced that Google Assistant in Hindi will be rolled out via Allo in the coming months. Google is focusing on the Indian market and this is bound to be widely loved by Indian audiences as so far, both of Google Assistant’s Siri and Cortana are not present in Hindi or any other Indian languages. This will definitely give Google a huge boost over other devices. Also, with Google expected to launch their own Pixel devices next month, it will be perfect timing for Google.
Talking of the innovations unveiled at the second iteration of Google for India event, Caesar Sengupta, Vice-President, 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.”