The Google for India event was held today in New Delhi and Google had some major announcements to be made public. This event was particularly special as Google turned 18 years old today. At a similar event held last year, Google had announced the Google Wi-Fi project which aimed at providing Wi-Fi connectivity at railway stations across India. This year, Google had much more to announce. Here are all the announcements made at the Google for India event.
Last year’s Google Wi-Fi project is now active at 52 railway stations across India where Google claims 3.5 million people each month avail the service with as many as 15,000 new users being added every month. With Google Station, Google now plans to take this Wi-Fi connectivity to other places such as malls, bus stops, shopping complexes, cafes, university campuses etc. Google with partner with suitable partners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces and will then provide the adequate measures to generate revenue out of these.
Google said: “We will provide software and guidance on hardware to turn fiber connections into fast, reliable and safe WiFi zones.”. As of now, Google will be looking for partners to hook up with.
YouTube Go will be a newer version of the video sharing app where users will now be able to save data while browsing the same videos available on YouTube. Users will be able to get a glimpse or preview the videos before they decide to play or save them. Another way in which users will be able to save data is by being able to share the videos with friends or family present nearby without using any data. The app will make use of your phone’s Bluetooth to discover people around you and then use WiFi Direct to share the video.
Interestingly, YouTube Go will be an India exclusive app in the earlier periods and users have to sign up on youtubego.com/signup to try out the app when it launches.
Google Assistant in Hindi
Being the mother tongue of India, Hindi has always held a special spot in every Indian’s heart. Google plans to make use of this fact by introducing the Google Assistant in Hindi in the already very popular messaging and personal assistance app Allo. The app already uses English and also prompts replies in Hinglish. If things go like Google plans, we will soon have a personal assistance that works completely in Hindi.
Data saving features: Chrome on Mobile
Google Chrome is one of the most used web browsers on Android smartphones and tablets and Google has plans to introduce an extended Data Saver mode that will save users a lot of data on their smartphones. This will enable webpages to be loaded upto 2 times faster even on 2G internet connections. This will be made possible by Chrome saving 90% of the user data data offline and accessing it, making loading webpages faster. There will also be a separate Downloads tab, which was kissing until now from Chrome. All the files downloaded via Chrome will be accessible through this tab.
Google will optimize Google Play to work on slow internet connections and even 2G network. Two new experimental features will also be launched. One of these will load the popular apps and games from the store when on WiFi connection which users will then be able to view offline. The second feature will allow you to select an app you want to install even when offline and add it to the “Wait for WiFi” list so it automatically gets downloaded when you connect to WiFi.
Google News & Weather
Google News & Weather will get a Lite mode that will trim the content of the news and weather update and display just the headline. This way, these apps will be optimized for operating even on low bandwidths and will save upto 1/3rd data.