As Google turns 18 today, the company hosted Google for India event in New Delhi, where it made a slew of India-centric announcements. The key focus of all Google initiatives is in line with PM Narendra Modi s vision of Digital India to connect the unconnected, while making internet easily accessible to users in India. Today, Google announced new products and platforms specially built for India make internet easily accessible on 2G connections. We take a look at six key announcements made by Google for India today. Also Read - Google's Tensor chipset on Pixel 6 series will be manufactured by Samsung: NikkeiAlso Read - Google Pixel 6 wallpapers now available for download: Here’s how to get them
Google Assistant in Hindi: Google announced its AI-based Google Assistant at I/O 2016 earlier this year, and it has already made its way to Google s messaging app, Allo. It s the advanced version of Google Now that allows users to have a proper conversation, rather than asking pre-programmed questions. Users can also ask follow up questions and the assistant can pick up the conversation to return the right answer. However, Google Assistant support is only available for English language with support for Hinglish. Google understands the huge user base in India and it has announced Google Assistant will soon support Hindi language by the end of this year. Over the past year and a half, Google witnessed 10X growth in local language queries in India, with Hindi content consumption five times faster than English content. And it makes perfect sense for the company to bring Hindi Language support to its advanced AI-based assistant. Also Read - Google Chrome sending Enhanced Safe Browsing notifications? Know all about it here
Google Play with Wait for Wi-Fi feature: To improve Google Play experience on slower 2G connections, Google is introducing two new experimental features. Firstly, when connected to Wi-Fi, Google Play Store will pre-load popular parts of the store in cache to make browsing faster when on slower 2G connections. Google is also adding Wait for Wi-Fi option that will allow users to install the apps only when the smartphone is connected to Wi-Fi. ASLO READ: Google Station: Google expands free Wi-Fi service beyond railway stations
Chrome Beta for Android: Google has updated its Chrome beta browser for Android with support for video data saver and offline download. Data saver mode has been present on the Chrome for Android for quite some time now, but with the latest update, it now works on videos too. Google says you can now save up to 67 percent of data when watching MP4 videos, with data saver on. Google Chrome beta on Android will automatically optimize pages to load two times faster while saving up to 90 percent data when it detects a slower 2G network. ALSO READ: Google Chrome beta for Android gets data saver for videos, offline download support
Google has also added download feature allowing users to save videos, music, photos and web pages for offline access. All the downloaded content can now be accessed from the newly introduced Downloads tab. Also, when downloading cannot be completed due to network fluctuation, downloading will automatically resume the moment the smartphone is connected back to the internet. This ensures that users won’t have to start the download again from scratch.
That s not all; when you open a new tab in Chrome, scrolling up will now let you discover content personalized for you, such as latest news articles. This can be anything from what you have been recently search for, or content from websites that you regularly follow.
YouTube Go: Completely built from scratch, the YouTube Go will let users watch their favorite videos, discover new and trending videos. The app also brings the ability to save videos for offline viewing. While this feature has been available on the existing YouTube app too, the YouTube Go app will give users more control over how much data is being consumed while watching and downloading videos. For instance, before you play the video, a pop-up will appear on the screen showing the available storage on SD card and the amount of data the video will consume when streaming in low or standard quality. After choosing the quality, you can either play the video or save it for offline viewing. Users will also be able to share stored YouTube videos among each other via Wi-Fi Direct, so they won’t have to incur internet usage charges for streaming the same video again. The app will be rolled out in the coming months and you can sign-up here to get notified when it becomes available. ALSO READ: Google brings videos offline for India with YouTube Go app
Google Station: Last year in September, Google announced its partnership with RailTel and Indian Railways to offer Wi-Fi hotspot at 400 stations across India. Currently, over 50 stations are already equipped with high-quality Wi-Fi connecting 3.5 million users to internet every month. Today, Google has announced global expansion of free Wi-Fi service with Google Stations. For this, Google will partner large organizations and venues, fiber optics providers, network operators, infrastructure companies and system integrators. The internet giant is also working on making it easier for its partners to setup, maintain and monetize their Wi-Fi networks. ALSO READ: Google Play Store gets Wait for Wi-Fi feature in India
Google News Lite: The Android app, Google News and Weather also has a new feature called Lite mode. It is specially designed for users who are on a low-bandwidth connection. This mode will keep the headline while trimming the rest of the components, which Google claim will help save a third of data and also ensure the page will load quickly. There is no need to turn on the Lite mode, as it will automatically trigger when you re on a slower connection. ALSO READ: Google Assistant is coming soon in Hindi