Technology giant Google’s fourth edition of ‘Google for India’ took place at an event in New Delhi today. As expected, there were a number of announcements that were made at Google’s annual event. India has the second largest population of internet users, and hence is a very important market for Google. Here are the key announcements that Google spoke about at its event today:
- Google Tez gets re-branded at Google Pay: The technology giant’s payment app Google Tez will now be rebranded to Google Pay. Google is eyeing to get over 15,000 retail stores in India and 2,000 online merchants on its Google Pay app by Diwali 2018. It also talked about its plans to bring rich interactions to its payment app. Businesses and merchants can also start using Google Pay to pay for Google Ads. Google Pay is also collaborating with Federal Banks, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank among others for loans. It is worth noticing that the app will only act as an intermediary and that the customer will only be able to get these pre-approved loans via banks. This feature will start appearing on Google Pay app in the next few weeks.
- Google Station to reach over 12,000 villages: Google announced today that it has joined hands with Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Ltd (APSFNL) to bring Google Station to over 12,000 villages, using the Station Wi-Fi model. This move by the technology giant will help in providing internet access to around 10 million people in the country. Prior to this, the company had partnered with RailTel and provided Wi-Fi access across 400 Indian railway stations.
- Google will promote Indian language content online with Project Navlekha: Another announcement that Google made today was that it is working with Indian language publishers and aims to bring online content that is more relevant to audience in the country. As of now, the amount of online content that is available in Indian languages is only 1% of that available in English. With its new Project Navlekha, Google aims to enable publishers working in Indian regional languages to bring their content online. Navlekha is a Sanskrit word that means ‘a new way to write’. According to Google, just with help of a simple application, publishers will be able to create web pages from scanned copies of pages. Google claims that among 135,000 of print publishers in India, 90% do not have a website. With Project Navlekha, it eyes to change that with an AI tool that will render any PDF file with Indian language content into editable text.
- Users to get the option of listening to web pages: At its Google for India conference, Google has also announced a number of upcoming features for Google Go and Android (Go edition) OS. The key announcement was that Google’s AI based technology will enable users to “listen to webpages.” Users will now have two brand new features that they can access — bilingual news feed and audio playback. Basically, Google News Feed is set to become bilingual and will support both English and Hindi. In a few months, this feature will arrive on Google Go as well. And with the audio playback feature, users will be able to listen to webpages. The new feature by Google uses natural language processing and speech synthesis AI and can support 28 languages. Furthermore, users will be able to listen to web pages even if they are using a 2G connection.