Google looking for mass market in India

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Google has made a strong push into India, with a slew of products and features targeted at the mass market of India. For first-time Internet users and those using low-end smart-phones, on Tuesday Google launched a stripped-down version of its latest operating system Oreo (Go), and a new variant of its voice-based assistant for feature-phones in Hindi and English exclusively for Reliance Jio.

Google also introduced new apps such as a lighter and faster Google Go for search, and Files Go for optimizing data storage.

Majority these products are designed especially for the Indian market and have also been launched globally. Caesar Sengupta, vicepresident, Next Billion Users, Google, told the launch proves Google’s belief that building for India first can lead to creating better products for the world.

“We realize that most of our users are mobile-first or mobile-only. They are usually very young and they are in countries like India, Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria…” Within that, India is larger than the rest put together. “We have realized that once you build something well for India, it will work everywhere,” Sengupta added.

The San Francisco-based company also revealed a “two-wheeler mode” in Google Maps that will show trip routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars and trucks. Given that a enormous mass of Indians use bikes or scooters to commute, the new feature will provide customized traffic and arrival time estimations. Google said that the India launch will be followed by overseas in the coming months.

Talking about another India-first product — Tez — Google’s UPI-based (Unified Payments Interface) payment app launched in September this year, the company said it is going to touch 12 million users. It has processed 140 million transactions so far and accounts for more than 70% of all BHIM-UPI transactions.

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Jatin Bhatia, From ITvoir News Desk

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