Google is committed to bring its services to the billion plus population in India. As a part of this effort, Google has created the Next Billion Users Team which deals with creation of Google services tailored for Indian needs. The Google For India event was held today and Google had a bunch of special announcements just for India. The first announcement was the launch of Android Oreo (Go Edition). As you might know the Go program of Google deals with lightweight offerings for smartphones. The Android Oreo (Go edition) is no different. It has been made for entry-level smartphones that run on 512MB or 1GB of RAM. The Android Oreo (Go edition) not only has a small install size but comes with pre-installed apps like Google Go, Google Assistant for Android Oreo (Go edition), a slimmed down Google Play Store and more. The Android Oreo (Go edition) will be made available to customers by early 2018.
You may have seen in the above paragraph, we mentioned something called the Google Go. The Google Go is not only an app available for Android Oreo (Go edition) users but for everybody else as well. Today a preview of the app was made available for users in India and Indonesia. The Google Go has been made for first time Android smartphone users who are using an entry level smartphone and may not be familiar with Android ecosystem. Google Go employs what it likes to call tap-first user interface where suggestions are made to the user based on trending search results. The Google Go helps you to quickly change your search results from English to Hindi. Just like all other Go apps, the Google Go is has a small install size of just 5MB and has been developed to consume 40 percent less data. Another Go series app that was launched today is the Files Go application which is a file manager that helps you to save your precious paltry internal storage. The Files Go also serves as a file sharing app like ShareIt or AirDrop.
Google has also jumped on to the JioPhone bandwagon to expand its reach to feature phone users. The Google Assistant for JioPhone is the first Google Assistant that works on feature phones. The Google Assistant for JioPhone works just like it does on Android helping you make calls, send text messages, playing music and videos, searching the internet and opening other apps. The Google Assistant for JioPhone will be made available to JioPhone users with the help of an over the air update. It remains to see however if this voice assistant will give preference to Google’s services like YouTube over Jio services like JioCinema.
Google has also announced the addition of two-wheeler mode in Google Maps. The two-wheeler mode has been launched first in India and will make it to other countries soon. This two-wheeler mode on Google Maps was inevitable because two-wheeler have the largest share in number of vehicles plying on roads in India. The two-wheeler mode gives you unique shortcuts through traffic which are not available for cars. Just like the car mode it gives you information regarding traffic density and arrival times. The two-wheeler mode tries to be safer for riders as it provides a detailed log of landmarks before they set out so they are cont constantly checking the smartphones as they are riding. There is however a big safety issue associated with using the smartphone while riding. Hope Google tries to make some more additions that make it safer for people to use the two-wheeler mode on Google Maps.
Remember the Google Tez payments app? The company is now planning to make it your one stop payment platform by adding bill payment feature. The bill payment feature will help you help your phone, electricity and DTH bills. Once you make the payment it shall also save the details of the payment and remind you about the pending bill for next month. It will also prevent you for paying your bills twice by letting you know you have already paid your bills.
Source: Google Blog Images Courtesy: GoogleIndia on Twitter