Google India hosted its fifth annual ‘Google For India’ event in New Delhi today. The company announced several new products and services focused on Indian users. The announcements from Google included Google Pay, Google Lens, Google Assistant, Google AI, and more. Here are all the details of the announcements.
A few months ago, Google launched Bolo, a speech-based app that helps children learn how to read, today the app is gaining Bangla, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu support, and expanding our content pool by partnering with publishers like Chotta Bheem and Katha Kids.
Google Assistant for feature phones
Google is also launching an initiative to help millions of Indians who use 2G phones get the information they need, without requiring data or an internet connection. The Vodafone-Idea Phone Line with feature phones can access Google Assistant by calling single number free of charge(000 800 9191000), any time, and ask for everything from sports scores, traffic conditions, and weather forecasts or get help with homework.
Google Pay Spot Platform, Google Pay for Business
Spot Platform is focused on offline businesses and will enable merchants to create branded commercial experiences that bridge the offline and online worlds. As of now, services like UrbanClap, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, RedBus, Eat.Fit and Oven Story are already on board through our early access program.
Google is also making payments available to debit and credit cardholders through tokenized cards which is a secure way of paying for things using a digital token on your phone rather than your actual card number. Tokenized cards on Google Pay will be rolling out in the next few weeks with Visa cards for HDFC, Axis, Kotak and Standard Chartered banks. And Mastercard and Rupay cardholders will get the feature in the coming months.
To support small businesses, Google India announced a new app called Google Pay for Business which is a free and easy way for small and medium-sized merchants to enable digital payments without the hassle of time-consuming onboarding and verification process.
Next service announced by Google was a new Jobs effort focusing on entry-level jobs, that are not easily discoverable online. Jobs will be available as a Spot on Google Pay to help job seekers find and prepare for entry-level positions that fit their needs. It uses machine learning to recommend jobs and training content to help these users prepare for interviews and learn new skills. Jobs also makes it easy for them to apply, schedule interviews and engage directly with potential employers.
Google is partnering with the National Skills Development Corporation for their Skill India program. As part of this collaboration, Skill India students will be offered a seamless way to get started with Jobs and find better employment. Google is introducing Job Spot with 24 early partners in retail like 24Seven and Healthkart, delivery and logistics partners like Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo and hospitality providers like Fabhotels.
With world-class engineering talent, strong computer science programs and entrepreneurial drive, India has the potential to contribute to advancements in AI and its application to tackle big challenges. In order to support and contribute to this, Google is starting Google Research India an AI lab in Bangalore. The team will focus on two pillars: first, advancing fundamental computer science and AI research by building a strong team and partnering with the research community across the country. Second, applying this research to tackle big problems in fields like healthcare, agriculture, and education while also using it to make apps and services used by billions of people, more helpful.
Here are the other key updates from the Google for India 2019 event:
- Google, in partnership with BSNL, will bring high-speed public WiFi to villages in Gujarat, Bihar, and Maharashtra —places that haven’t had a WiFi connection before.
- Hindi is now the second-most used Assistant language globally (after English).
- Discover news feed app will be available in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam. Oriya, Urdu, and Punjabi will follow soon.
- Google Lens is getting Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi languages support.
- Interpreter mode(real-time translation) in Assistant on Android and Android Go phones coming soon
- In the last 12 months, Google Play has grown more than three times to 67 million monthly active users worth over $110Bn on an annualized basis, with hundreds of thousands of offline and online merchants.
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