Google hosted its annual ‘Google for India 2019’ event today, where it announced a slew of updates for products like Assistant, Google Lens and Google Pay. It also announced to set up an AI research lab in Bengaluru, which will be led by Dr Manish Gupta. Here’s a recap of everything that has been unveiled at the Google for India 2019 event:
More Indic languages for Google Search, Discover, Lens, and Bolo
Google says that it has witnessed a ten times increase in Hindi queries on the Google Search and the usage of Google Discover tab has grown by 100 per cent since it was introduced in Hindi last year. The tech giant revealed that it plans to include three more Indic languages to the Search page by end of the year, and the Google Discover will be available in seven more additional languages, which could be selected by the users directly from Discover. Google did not reveal which languages will be added to Search and Discover.
It also announced new language support for Google Lens, which it says has been used majorly by Indian students to find answers to their homework. Google Lens is getting support for Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi translations.
The Bolo app, which is aimed at helping children in India read, will also get support for Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. Bolo is a speech-based app to help children improve their reading abilities. Google is partnering with the Global Book Alliance, Katha Kids, and Chotta Bheem for more content on Bolo.
Google Assistant gets Language Decoupling
Google is introducing Language Decoupling to the Assistant, which will enable the use of regional or Hindi language while talking to the Assistant without changing the phone’s language settings. So users will be able to continue with English as the language for their phone, while talking to their Assistant in their preferred language.
Google Assistant gets Phone Line
Vodafone-Idea subscribers in India can now call the Google Assistant in case of poor internet connectivity via its new Phone Line feature. The Assistant will be available at 000 800 9191 000 and people can ask it questions like they ask the Assistant on their phone.
Food delivery comes to Google Assistant in India
Google is also bringing the food delivery feature for the Assistant in India. Until now users in the US could order food using the Assistant. It enables users to search for restaurant and food items via Assistant, add to order, and checkout. Partners for food delivery include Domino’s Pizza, FreshMenu, and others.
Google Research India AI lab
Google will set up an AI (artificial intelligence) lab called Google Research India in Bengaluru. The programme will be led by Dr Manish Gupta. Google says that the aim of Google Research India is to serve as a close collaborator to Indian academia, Government and industry around AI and help advance AI research in India.
Tokenized cards for Google Pay
Google announced the Tokenized card for Google Pay among other features. The app will generate a digital token to pass on to the merchant without unveiling the actual card number of the user. Google says that the tokenization feature can be used for any payments made via Google Pay, including scanning QR Payments.
The feature is a lot like Apple Pay and banks including HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Bank and Standard Chartered are already on board. As of now, the tokenized card feature will work with VISA cards only and Google says the support for MasterCard and Rupay will come within weeks after this feature is rolled out to users.
Jobs in Google Pay
Google has added a Jobs feature in the Google Pay app to connect job seekers and employers for entry-level roles. The feature matches candidates with jobs based on their skill sets, experience, compensation, location, and availability. It also has a free CV-builder and a curated ‘learn feed’ that highlights professional development videos, courses, and other related stuff.
It has collaborated with the National Skills Development Corporation where Skill India students and graduates will be offered a seamless way to get started with their search on Jobs. In addition, Skill India graduates who sign on to the app will have their offline certificate automatically appear in their Jobs profile as a digital badge, which improves the process of matching them with relevant jobs.
As of now, the initial list of employers includes– 24Seven and Healthkart in retail, Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, and Delhivery in delivery, and logistics and Fabhotels in hospitality. The Job Spot feature is now available in Delhi NCR and the nationwide rollout will happen in the next few weeks.
Google Pay Spot platform
Google Pay’s Spot will let merchants create branded commercial experience and set up a storefront on the Google Pay app. Merchants can create a spot code, which can be scanned and help users order ahead. After placing an order, users can just walk into the store and pick up what they ordered. Early partners for Spot include Eat.fit, Goibibio, MakeMyTrip, RedBus, UrbanClap.