On a day when Google celebrated its own birthday with a fun doodle, it also held an event in India where it announced several initiatives for the country. Right from optimizing their own apps to work with 2G services to offline storage options. There was a lot of promise displayed at the event to make Digital India’s future a lot better.
Data Saving Google Products
While we’ve covered Jio’s entry with their 4G LTE offers for India, a land where broadband is still limited to urban areas. But Google has made similar bold moves today with their announcements, starting with a more optimized Google Play store which will work well even on 2G.
Forget 4G and 3G, Google is also thinking about the rural populous on 2G!
The idea here is to download all the major parts of Google Play services on Wi-Fi, so browsing is much faster even on weaker signals. Moreover, the Play Store will also now offer a ‘Wait for Wi-Fi’ option before installing an app from the Play Store.
On a similar idea, Google also announced a Data Saver mode for Chrome on Android, PC and Chromebooks. This update will help Chrome detect websites that are heavy on bandwidth, reducing the overall data consumption and improving speeds on slower networks.
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.
YouTube Go is a new app (separate from the YouTube app) also aimed at saving data and working in areas with weak signal. Saying that it is built with 4 concepts in mind (relatable, offline first, cost-effective and social), Google is certainly pushing their own idea of the next billion users with the right approach.
Currently, users will need to sign up for YouTube Go by entering their email id on youtubego.com/signup but more and more people will get the app over the next few months.
Google had tied-up with Indian Railways last year and continuing this stride, the company also announced Google Station. The service will give their partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots to public spaces like malls, cafes and universities.
We want to get a billion Indians online. – Rajan Anandan, Vice President for South East Asia and India
Right now, Google offers free Wi-Fi access at 53 railways stations across India and plans to serve around 100 stations by the end of the year.
There were some other features announced too for apps like News and Maps too, with the singular aim of conserving precious bandwidth for the average Indian user. Which one of the announcements has you the most excited? Let us know in our comments section.