Google For India 2019: Everything Announced (Pay, Assistant, Search, Lens, and AI)
Today, at its fifth Google For India event in Delhi, Google has announced a bunch of exciting updates to its products and services, specifically focused on India. The announcements involve the tech giant’s wide products and services lineup, which includes: Google Pay, Google Assistant, Google Search, Google Lens, and Google AI. Here’s a brief look at all the announcements around these services.
- In much the same way Google launched Google Station to offer fast, reliable, and secure WiFi to 400 train stations, it is now partnering with BSNL to bring high-speed public WiFi to villages in Gujarat, Bihar, and Maharashtra.
- Taking into consideration millions of Indian consumers with 2G phones, Google is launching a new initiative with the Vodafone-Idea Phone Line. The service is supported by the Google Assistant and allows Vodafone-Idea users to call on a single number (000-800-9191000) free of cost at any time of the day and get results for queries around anything.
- Support for more Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam on the news feed app, Discover, launched last year, with more languages including Oriya, Urdu, and Punjabi to follow soon.
- Similar to the Discover app, Google is also adding support for more Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi on the Google Lens service. So now, users can search for information and translate text by pointing their phone’s camera, in more languages.
- The Bolo app, launched earlier this year, which helps children learn and read in English and Hindi, now comes with more languages that include Bangla, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. Additionally, it is also partnering with publishers like Chotta Bheem and Katha Kids to expand its content pool.
- Google also announced the addition of Interpreter Mode in Assistant on Android and Android Go phones in the coming months, which will enable real-time translations in English and Hindi using Google Assistant.
- Google Pay now comes with Spot Platform to bridge the gap between the online and offline world by allowing merchants to create customized branded commercial experiences. Services like UrbanClap, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, RedBus, Eat.Fit, and Oven Story have already come on board with the service.
- Besides the Spot Platform, Google is also offering payments available to debit card and credit card holders through ‘tokenized’ cards. Google says, tokenized cards are a secure way of paying that use a digital token on your phone rather than the actual card number. It will roll out in upcoming weeks with Visa cards for HDFC, Axis, Kotak, and Standard Chartered banks available at the beginning, and Mastercard, Rupay, and other banks to follow soon.
- In order to help small business in the country, Google is aiming at offering support through a new app called Google Pay for Business. The app offers a free and easy way for small-to-medium-sized merchants to enable digital payments without having to go through the tedious setup and verification process.
- To prepare job seekers in the country for jobs and connect them with the best opportunities, the company is announcing a new Jobs effort, which will focus on offering jobs seekers with entry-level jobs that are otherwise not easily discoverable online. Jobs will be available as a Spot on Google Pay and will allow jobs seekers to find and prepare for entry-level jobs that fit their needs. The service will use machine learning to recommend jobs and training content to the users, and even help them to apply, schedule interviews, and engage directly with potential employers.
Last, but certainly not the least, Google is setting up an AI lab in Bangalore to allow Indian talent to contribute to advancements in AI and its application. Google says, “the team will essentially focus on two pillars. First, advancing fundamental computer science and AI research building a strong team and partnering with the research community across the country, and 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.”