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What happened at the Google for India event today

sundar-pichai

Some of the top officials of Google flew down to New Delhi to discuss the company’s plans for India and give a lowdown of their various efforts in the country. The company plans to hire more engineers in India, open a new campus in Hyderabad, train 2 million Android developers and bring more people in India online through initiatives such as Project Loon.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, said that the company is barely scratching the surface when it comes to bringing more Indians online.

The following snippets are a part of Google’s Google for India event that happened earlier today.

Maps

– India is one of the top 5 countries using offline maps.

– Google Offline Maps also work in case of intermittent connectivity.

– Google will expand its landmark-based directions on Maps, which was started in India, to other markets as well.

– 51 countries now use Google’s Mapmaker which started in India

Public WiFi Access

– Mumbai Central is likely to be the first station with WiFi in January 2016.

– Download speeds much faster than average speed in India, says Gulzar Azad.

– But more people use it, speeds go down. So they have to work on access points says Marian Croak.

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Marian Croak: India will have first WiFi enabled station in January 2016. 99 more will be added through the year.

– Speeds at these public Wifis at railway stations will be faster than the average speeds in India.

– “It is not our intention to provide a walled-garden to use only Google applications,” says Marian Croak adding that Google will keep its programs on expanding access-neutral. Public WiFi  at railway stations will not have any zero rated services.

On Project Loon: Google is trying to convince the government that the solution to its concerns are spectrum sharing. It has encountered similar problems in other countries and managed to convince authorities there.

Indic Languages and translation

– Next year, Google will have tap to translate that can translate WhatsApp messages within WhatsApp and allow replies in Hindi as well. This supports Roman Hindi as well. Not just WhatsApp, but on any app on the phone.

– The Tap To Translate feature works offline.

– Caesar Sengupta: Google now has opened translation to other Indic languages such as Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu among others

– Caesar Sengupta: Google Translate now allows to point your camera at any English text, which can be translated to Hindi. The company is working on other languages as well. This feature works offline too.

– Android now supports 74 languages.

– Marshmallow added Gujarati and Urdu support. – Google now translates 1 million words every second ​​

– Focus on Indic languages: Many other apps will be available in Indian languages.

– Android One phones now present in 21 countries, after originally launched in India, says Caesar Sengupta. Android One also supports Marshmallow (Android 6.0), he adds.

 

Youtube

– Current infrastructure and cost of data makes it difficult for Google to provide a seamless experience on YouTube.

– The amount of time people spend on YouTube is growing 150% year-over-year, faster than global average.

Google now has 250 historic and cultural ties that can explored on its platform through street view, for which it has partnered with ASI and Ministry of Culture.

Plans for India

– It will ramp up investments in India and hire more engineers and a set up new campus in Hyderabad.

– People can now use Chrome for a web-lite version, which was launched a couple of weeks ago.

– Asus Chromebit can be connected to an old computer to run Chrome OS. It will be launched in India next month for Rs 7,999.

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– Google will train 2 million Android developers in India.

– Early next year, Google will provide real time cricket scores including video highlights and more relevant information. This includes IPL as well as International cricket.

– Google Search will now have more information on Bollywood, such as movie showtimes, users can listen to songs through Gaana, Saavn and YouTube, which will all be integrated within search.

 

Rajan Anandan: Affordability is a problem. There are many in India who can’t spend even Rs 100-200 for Internet.

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