Sundar Pichai, Google’s Indian-born CEO, recently spoke at the ‘Google for India’ event that took place in Delhi. During this event, he spoke about the strategies that Google has to bring more Indian’s online and about how their experience online would be made more enjoyable.
These are the list of things that Google hopes to accomplish in India, over the next three years:
- Firstly, Google hopes to give India and other such developing countries better access to the internet. It intends to improve the connectivity and the quality of the software that is currently being used. To implement this, Google is working with the Indian Railways and Railtel to launch RailWire WiFi at the train stations. The first station that will receive free WiFi connectivity will be Mumbai Central, in January of 2016. Following this, a hundred more stations will receive free WiFi.
- Google is aiming to make their products work better for Indians. To make the loading time on websites faster, “lighter” versions of Search results and web pages have been launched. These pages have proved to be a success and have led to an increase in traffic for publishers.
- A new virtual keyboard has been created by Google, which makes it easier to type in a total of 11 Indian languages.
- A feature known as “Offline Maps” has been launched by Google which allows navigation of roads and searching for locations even without a data connection.
“Offline Maps is a feature we expect to be useful around the world, and countries like India will truly benefit when it comes to accessing Google Maps with expensive, slow or limited connectivity. In fact, India is one of the top five countries that has the most people using Offline Maps today,” said the VP of Product Management of Google Maps.
- Panoramic images of 250 Indian monuments, such as Hampi and Mahabalipuram, will be added to Google Maps and the Google Cultural Institute. This is a result of Google collaborating with the Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India.
- In the first half of 2016, Google will launch a feature that is called Tap to Translate. This will allow the direct translation of any text on an Android phone. Speaking about this feature, Caesar Sengupta (VP of Google’s Next Billion Initiatives), says that:
“Our most active users in India translate between Hindi and English multiple times a day, spending lots of time copying messages from friends or colleagues, translating them, writing responses, translating their responses, and them pasting them back into an app. With Tap to Translate, you can copy text anywhere on your Android phone and instantly get the translation, right then and there- without ever leaving the app. No more copy/paste, no more app switching, just instant translation.”
- A small device called the ‘Chromebit’, turns a monitor into a computer. This device is meant to help boost computing in the sector of education, and it will be available in India from January at Rs. 7999.
- They have announced a program in which they will train 2 million new Android developers over the next three years. Google will do so by partnering with the National Skill Development Corporation in India. “We’re already seeing incredible growth in the number of developers in India, and our forecasts indicate that this growth is not going to slow down anytime soon. At Google, we’re committed to providing access to tools that empower developers to be successful,” said the VP of Engineering of the Developers Product Group.
- Google is looking to hire recruits from Bangalore and Hyderabad. It will also set up a huge new campus in Hyderabad.
- Google wants to provide internet access to all the Indians, even those living in rural areas. It aims to provide internet connectivity to 300,000 villages in India. Pichai says: “Our platform allows them to add their voice to the internet.”
- Google is going to bring Project Loon to India. This project has already been tested in New Zealand, California and Brazil. It will use balloons to provide better internet connectivity. Each balloon will have the capability of providing connectivity to an area 40 kilometers in diameter. It will do so by using a wireless communications technology called LTE or 4G.
- Google will introduce a pause buffer feature. This feature will allow the user to pause the video or leave it to buffer or even leave the app/website and let it continue to buffer.
We certainly hope that these features will be implemented by Google soon, it will make our lives a lot more comfortable.
However, while Google is on the topic of Railways in India, could they also do something about the enormous crowds?