Google Stations for WiFi, YouTube Go app: The search giant’s big plans for India

Google for India event saw the announcement of India-specific products like Google Station, YouTube Go and more.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Updated: September 27, 2016 6:21 pm
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Google on Tuesday announced a slew of new products aimed at Indian users who now form the second largest market for the search giant. At the second ‘Google For India’ event in New Delhi, held on the day of its 18 anniversary, the company announced its Public Wi-Fi platform called Google Station, named to highlight its origins at Indian railway stations. It also announced that Google Assistant will be available in Hindi by the end of the year through the new smart messaging app Allo.

Google’s Senior VP of search, John Giannandrea, said India is leading the mobile world with search queries on mobile surpassing desktop years ahead of others. “Google is now capable of translating 100 languages and 12 of these are Indic,” he said, again underlining how seriously Google takes this geography.  He said search now uses Knowledge Graph to answer the questions people are asking, even in Hindi.

Google seems to be working hard on more offline features for the Indian market, which it has learnt becomes popular in other markets too. So, Google Maps offline, created primarily for India, is now popular in US and Europe too. This is the kind learning that is prompting Google to update Play Store with a feature that optimises it for 2G networks, and switching on a download feature for Chrome which is allow you to save pages and videos for viewing later. Also, the data saver feature in Chrome will now work for Video too, announced Rahul Ro-Chowdhury, VP of Chrome.

In fact, data saver has grown in India like no other market. Roy-Chowdhury said Indian users save 337 TB of data every single week, which is about Rs 7 crore in value. Also YouTube Go, for instance, is a new product that has been designed based on learning from India.  This new product will work on low bandwidth situations and let users shared saved content with friends and family with a tap of devices. It will be available in 10 Indian languages, the attempt being to remove all barriers.

Also read: Google’s free Wi-Fi: This is why it chose railway stations to connect India

As Google India head Rajan Anandan explains the next set of Indians will use the Internet in their own language. Even now, 150 million of the 350 million Indian users online access the Web in their own languages.

Ceasar Sengupta, VP for the next billion users, says the attempt it to create the internet the new users want. “Every second three Indians come online and we have to ensure that the experience is wonderful and relevant for them. But the next billion is very different from the first billion and by building products for these users were are preparing for how the world will use tech in the coming years,” he adds.

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