Sundar Pichai during his first visit to India since he became the Google CEO, talked about Google’s vision to develop products that could solve problems faced by human race among other things. Pichai, also, met the Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to start the pilot testing of ‘Project Loon’ in India.
The project aims at connection millions to Internet with the help of large balloons. The government has in-principle agreed to the project and state-run BSNL will help it take flight in India.
The company announced several things including free WiFi at 100 railway stations in India, Asus Chromebit coming to India and more.
Here are the top 11 takeaways from the event.
1) Google Faster Search Google is all set to launch AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for those on slower Internet connections in India. AMP pages will ensure that content and text load in a matter of seconds, rather than the current scenario where the experience is often fragmented for most users. Google Search VP Tamar Yehoshua said 50 per cent of Indian internet users were on 2G networks, while those on 3G were complaining of 2G-like speeds. “Google plans to fix that with Google AMP pages,” she said, about the new product that is being rolled out in India. DON’T MISS: Pichai at SRCC
2) Google free WiFi at railway stations Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced free Wi-Fi in 100 railway stations as promised to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to Silicon Valley earlier this year. The company plans to roll out the free WiFi service in Mumbai Central by December 2016 followed by other stations in India. Wondering how? EXPLAINED: What is Google’s Wi-Fi at 100 railway station project and how will it work
3) Tap to translate With an intention to connect millions of Android users in India in their own language, the India-born CEO said that Google will launch ‘tap to translate’ feature next year. The feature will allow users to translate any sign pointed via camera on Google Translate app in Hindi. Further explaining the feature, Pichai said that a message received in Hindi can be copied and Google Translate will appear right inside WhatsApp to show translation. Google will also run ‘translateathon’ which will get people translate more words. It will expand beyond Hindi to Bengali, Punjabi and Marathi.
4) YouTube pause to buffer YouTube users will now be able to pause a video, leave it to buffer and even leave the app or site and let it continue buffering with Google’s ‘pause to buffer’. Eyal Manor, Vice-President of Engineering for YouTube said the content uploaded on YouTube from India has also doubled and time spent was growing at 150 per cent ahead of global figures.
5) Cricket score, Live Replays Google Search VP Tamar Yehoshua said the company will launch improved versions of live cricket scores and replays on search early next year.
6) New Hyderabad campus Sundar Pichai at a large-scale event of the company in New Delhi, Pichai, who was accompanied by other top executives of the company, announced plans to launch a “huge new” campus in Hyderabad and to recruit more Indians for business development too.
7) Train 2 million Android developers Google said that it will recruit more Indian in its team. It will also train 2 million Android developers for a period of 3 years.
8) Google Maps Offline Local Guides Google attempts to help business connect by through offline Google Maps. Google said that more than a billion people use Google Maps for navigation and mapping in India has brought unique challenges and key learning. Google Maps will now support turn by turn navigation even without Internet connection. India ranks third in terms of local guides on Google Maps and Google’s Delhi offline app will give real time information about transportation in the city.
9) Chromebit Sundar Pichai during the ‘Google For India’ announced that Asus Chromebit will be launched in India in January at Rs 7,999. The Chromebit is a candybar-sized PC-on-stick and lets users upgrade their old PCs get a faster, Chromebook like experience.
10) Project Loon Sundar Pichai, during his visit met the Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to start the pilot testing of ‘Project Loon’ in India. The government has in-principle agreed to the project and state-run BSNL will help it take flight in India. While Telecommunication ministry may have raised issues about Project Loon’s interference with telecom signal, Pichai sounded confident of beaming internet from balloons. Google’s Project Loon was conceived for India and Mountain View based search major would want to get it floating in Indian airspace as early as possible.
11) Android N or P could be named after Indian dessert While addressing students at SRCC in New Delhi, Google CEO Pichai said for the next version of Android, the company could do an online poll and if all Indians vote, Android N or Android P could get an Indian name. There were even references of Android P being named Peda on stage and on a lighter note, Pichai joked of Android P being named Payasam, a popular dessert served in Southern India.