Some major announcements for its users in India were made by Google during its Google For India event, held on August 28 in Delhi. The tech giant focused on bringing new features to its existing apps like the Google Go and Google Pay and also announced a USD 1 Million grant to NGOs supporting the relief and recovery efforts in the flood-hit Kerala. Google has also entered into a partnership with Andhra Pradesh Pradesh State FiberNet Limited with a promise to bring Google Station to over 12 thousand villages, towns and cities in the state.
During his opening note, , Rajan Anandan, VP- Google, India and Southeast Asia, noted three key points about the Internet trends in India:
1. Voice is emerging as the preferred mode of use for new internet users.
2. Online video now accounts for 75% of all mobile traffic.
3. The majority of the Internet users today are Indian language users, a number expected to reach 500 million plus in the next two years.
Facts aside, here all the new updates that Google announced in its Google For India event:
Google has announced updates to it's Google Assistant for both it's Android devices as well as Google's own smart speakers, Google Home. The updates include the addition of new languages to the Google Assistant and integration to more Indian services. Support for Marathi has now been added to the Google Assistant and Google has promised the availability of seven new Indian languages to its Assistant soon. Google Assistant's integration was also announced, with 'Where is My Train', 'Airtel', and 'Hello English'.
What's more, the Google Assistant will now be able to automatically switch between Hindi and English.
Google Go will now read out and highlight text in English Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam and Tamil. The new feature aims to make long text pieces easily consumable for the app's users.
Google Maps has announced navigation support in Hindi for its users. The company has also partnered with Red Bus to show buses and their routes on its Maps. Users will also receive alerts by navigation while travelling through public transport.
Google Tez has now been renamed to Google Pay and in addition, the company has announced a partnership with banks like ICICI, Federal Bank, HDFC and Kotak. Google is also looking to expand Google Pay support across both in-store and online verticals.
Google is bringing vernacular support to its Feed, meaning users in India will now be able to see and interact with their Google Feed in Hindi. The move is aimed to cater to Hindi News readers in India.