Google today, at its fourth Google for India conference, introduced a flurry of updates to its services designed for Indian users. In addition to a new initiative called Project Navlekha, the company announced a handful of new features for its voice assistant. For starters, users can now inquire or recharge their mobile account balance and track trains in real-time on the Google Assistant. While the former is for now limited to Airtel users, we expect other telecom operators to join soon.
In addition, Google has partnered with an app called Hello English which lets Hindi speakers learn English through the Google Assistant. What’s more, users can converse with a Google Home device in Hindi but the best part is that the virtual assistant can automatically recognize the dialect eliminating the need for any manual settings. Google is also adding eight more languages to the Google Assistant including Marathi.
The Google app itself has been updated with a couple of new features for regional users. The Google Feed is, to begin with, bilingual now which means you’ll be able to browse it in languages other than English. For now, Google is starting with Hindi and will bring support for other regions in the coming months. Starting today, the lightweight version of the app, Google Go can even read aloud web pages in several dialects similar to what the company introduced with Android 9 Go.
At the event, Google introduced Project Navlekha as part of its Next Billion Users program. With Navlekha, the search engine giant hopes to bring publications which work in regional languages such as Hindi online. The biggest hurdle such magazines and newspapers face is the cumbersome process of turning their content web-friendly. Project Navlekha solves that with a straightforward app for phones and the web where publishers can simply input scanned copies of pages and articles and quickly create a webpage out of them.