The growth of the Internet has been explosive in India in the recent past. Every second, three more Indians come online for the first time — that’s over 10,000 people every hour. But this latest wave of Internet users still has significant barriers to getting the most out of the Internet: low-powered phones, 2G connections, and very little data.
So in order to engage and connect more Indians to internet, Google recently came up with lot of new products, platforms and access programs. This in a way will bring more Indians to use Google products thereby increasing their revenue. Why is Google doing this? Because India is still an untapped market for all the tech giants.
India’s market potential
4 billion people in India has access to internet that is around 34% of the population. This means there are still more than half of Indians who don’t have access to internet. So companies are trying to tap those markets by providing platforms through which they can access internet.
Source: Internet Live Stats
Below are the few products which are exclusively developed by Google engineers for India.
YouTube Go: A YouTube app built from the ground up for India
A new YouTube app built from scratch to bring YouTube to the next generation of viewers. YouTube Go is designed with four concepts in mind. It’s relatable, with video recommendations and a user interface that is made for you. The app is designed to be offline first and work even when there’s low or no connectivity. It’s also cost-effective, providing transparency and reducing data usage. And finally, it’s a social experience, connecting you with the people and content you care about.
This new YouTube app is developed considering the users in India who has accessibility and affordability challenges. So this app could load and play YouTube videos smoothly across various connectivity situations. The app also has a cool new feature that lets users share videos easily with friends and family nearby, without using any data.
Here are some of YouTube Go’s most notable features:
- Find and discover relatable videos right on the home screen: YouTube Go home screen features trending and popular videos in your area, so that you’ll find and fall in love with new videos that you and your community care about.
- Preview videos before you save or watch: Not sure if you want to watch the video? On YouTube Go when you tap on a thumbnail, it’ll trigger a quick preview of the video, giving you a better sense of what the video is about before you decide to save or play it.
- Choose your resolution when saving or streaming videos: Whether you’d like to save a video for offline viewing later, or stream it now, you can see and choose the amount of data you’d like to spend on that video.
- Share videos with friends nearby: Share videos with friends and family nearby without using any data. You can send and receive videos instantly and offline with others using the YouTube Go app.
YouTube Go will be India-only at first. If you want to an early chance to try it out, sign up at youtubego.com/signup to find out when the app is available.
Google Station: More Wi-Fi in more places
Last September, Google announced partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel to provide Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations in India. Right now, more than 50 stations is connected to Internet to 3.5 million people each month. Google estimates that 15,000 Indians come online each day through these stations. Google Station will provide software and guidance on hardware to turn fiber connections into fast, reliable and safe Wi-Fi zones. Users will get a fast Wi-Fi experience with a simple and unified login, while making it much easier for venues to manage their networks.
Google will be working with various partners to provide internet across shopping malls, bus stops, cafe etc.
Allo: The Assistant and Smart Replies in Hindi
Allo is the new messenger launched by Google. Allo has two smart features for Indian users. The main highlight of Allo is the Google assistant. In the app, you can ask the Assistant questions and let it help you get things done directly right in your chats. This is currently available in English, but later in the year, will also be rolling out the Assistant in Hindi. The “Smart Replies” feature — where Allo suggests responses to messages so you can respond quickly in English and Hinglish — will also be available in Hindi.
Chrome for mobile and Google Play: Better connectivity to access Google platforms
For certain countries like India where connectivity is a challenge, Chrome now offers an expanded Data Saver mode, which millions are already using to reduce the amount of data the browser uses on Android mobile devices, computers, and Chromebooks. This new update will support MP4 videos, saving up to 67% of video data. Also, Chrome on Android will automatically optimize pages to their essentials when 2G-like networks are detected. These simplified pages load up to 2X faster, saving more than 90% of user data. On top of that, Chrome for Android adds a new Download feature that lets users save web pages, videos, music, and pictures on their phone. All downloaded contents can be easily accessed in Chrome’s new Downloads tab, even when the users are offline. And if they go offline before downloading is complete, the process will automatically resume the next time they’re connected.
On the Google Play side, Indian users on 2G connections will experience two new experimental features to improve the experience. The Google Play app will now pre-load the most popular parts of the store on Wi-Fi so that browsing is much faster even on a weak signal. And when choosing to install an app, Play will offer the option to “Wait for Wi-Fi” and install the app when the phone connects to Wi-Fi and save data.
Google News: Lite Mode
The Android apps Google News and Weather added a new feature called “Lite mode” for people on low-bandwidth connections that keeps the headlines and trims the rest of the components down to their essentials so that the app loads more quickly. This mode uses less than one-third the data. Slower networks with trigger Lite mode automatically.
Source: Google India Blog
Let us know if you are using any of these Google products and share your comments below.