Google turns 18, announces YouTube Go, Wi-Fi station for India
Tech giant Google on Tuesday announced a bouquet of new products for the Indian market that are suited to work with low Internet speeds.
New Delhi: Google turned 18 on Tuesday and hosted a big party in India to unveil a bouquet of products designed for the world's second largest Internet market.
The focus of the products announced today -- a new Wi-Fi platform called Google Station and a video app 'YouTube Go' -- is to tap into the burgeoning Internet market in India, where users are primarily coming online through smartphones.
Google Vice President (Next Billion Users) Caesar Sengupta said three new Internet users are getting added every second in India, which presents a huge opportunity.
He added that the company is focussing on three key areas -- access, products and platforms -- to provide a better and "more inclusive online experience" for users in India.
"So, we have been thinking about how to build products and services for this wave of new users ? products that work for any level of connectivity, in local Indian languages, and across the devices that are most frequently used in India," he added.
Following its partnership with RailTel and Indian Railways to provide Wi-Fi at railway stations, Google has now launched a platform called Google Station.
The new platform will work with partners like system integrators (SIs) and venue owners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots, Sengupta said.
He added that this will provide more people in India and around the world fast, reliable, and secure Wi-Fi in places like malls, transit stations and cafes.
With RailTel, Google connects about 3.5 million users to the Internet with people using about 20 times the average monthly data use of 600 megabytes at these railway stations.
India, which has the second largest number of Internet users globally, is also among the fastest growing markets. The user base, driven primarily by booming smartphone adoption, is pegged to grow from 350 million to 650 million by 2020.
Google is also focusing on the next set of millions of users who will come online in the coming years in regional languages.
Its new messaging app 'Allo' will introduce support in Hindi for its Google Assistant later this year, said Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager at Google.
Google also announced a group of tailored features for Chrome, like automatic optimising of pages when 2G-like networks are detected. These simplified pages load up to two times faster, saving more than 90 per cent of data usage. This data saver feature will now support videos as well, helping users save upto 67 per cent data.
It will now allow its users on a low-bandwidth connection to be able to choose and install an app through their mobile network or install it when the phone next connects to Wi-Fi.
Rajan Anandan, Vice-President, India and South East Asia said the company's vision is to make India a global hub of innovation and produce high quality mobile developers who will build not just for India but for the world.
He added that the company is partnering with government and organisations to bridge the digital education and gender divide.
Google also unveiled 'YouTube Go' that will allow users to save and watch videos even in poor connectivity and share them with friends over bluetooth.