Google is now 18 years old; announces big plans for India


Google just turned 18 and as a part of its celebrations, the search engine giant not only hosted a massive party in India, it also announced two new products specifically built for world’s second largest Internet market.

Google announced a new Wi-Fi platform called Google Station and a video app ‘YouTube Go’. Google is channelling its might towards three key areas – access, products and platforms – in a bid to to provide a better and “more inclusive online experience” for users in India. The country has become a lucrative destination for foreign players post relaxation of foreign direct investment policies across the board and Internet companies are trying to leverage all they can to not only profit from the increased accessibility to Indian masses, but also trying to provide tools that can make lives of Indians easier.

Google earlier partnered with RailTel and Indian Railways to provide Wi-Fi at railway stations and now the company has announced Google Station. The new platform will work with partners like system integrators (SIs) and venue owners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots. The platform 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.

Google’s new messaging app ‘Allo’ is all set to introduce support in Hindi for its Google Assistant later this year. Further, the company has 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.

There is a huge potential to make India as a global hub of innovation and produce high quality mobile developers who will build not just for India but for the world and to this very end, Google 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.