This list of new additions announced today include products built for specifically for India — YouTube Go, the Google Assistant in Hindi inside messaging app Allo, faster browsing for Google Play on 2G connections — as well as new, global platforms inspired by the needs of Indian users — the Google Station Wi-Fi platform and new data-saving features in Google Chrome for mobile.
Caesar Sengupta, Vice-President, Next Billion Users, outlined the three areas where Google is working to provide a better and more inclusive online experience for users in India: Access (connecting people to the Internet), Platforms (letting people and developers share through and build upon the Internet), and Products (providing better and more relevant Google experiences for Indians).
YouTube Go for next-gen users
During the announcement for You Tube Go — a new YouTube mobile app reimagined for the next generation of YouTube users — Johanna Wright, YouTube Vice-President for Product Management, shared, “YouTube Go is a brand new app to help the next generation of users share and enjoy videos. YouTube Go was designed and built from the ground up with insights from India, in order to bring the power of video to mobile users in a way that is more conscious of their data and connectivity, while still being locally relevant and social.
YouTube Go not only allows users to save and watch videos smoothly even in poor connectivity, it also gives them transparency and control over how much data they consume on videos, allowing them to preview videos first and choose the video’s file size before they save it offline to watch later.”
Soon testers in India will be able to use YouTube Go before the product becomes more widely available.
If you’d like to be among this first group, or to find out when the app is ready for launch, please sign up at youtubego.com/signup .
Google Assistant in Hindi
John Giannandrea, Senior Vice-President, Search, talked through the improved support for more Indian languages in Google products and the evolution of Search to meet the needs of mobile users. Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager, announced that a preview of the Google Assistant will be launched in Hindi by the end of 2016 inside the brand new Allo messaging app. The Google Assistant lets users have a conversation with Google, which can help them get things done.
New Wi-Fi platform, Google Station
Inspired by the success of the partnership with RailTel and Indian Railways to provide Wi-Fi at railway stations in India — with 50+ stations now providing high-quality Internet to 3.5 million people each month — Caesar Sengupta announced a new Wi-Fi platform called Google Station. This new platform will work with partners to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots, offering carriers, system integrators (SIs), and venues an easy way to set up high-quality, user-friendly Wi-Fi. This will provide more people in India and around the world fast, reliable, and safe Wi-Fi in more of the places where they spend time, like malls, transit stations, and cafes.
Fast browsing for 2G users
Sengupta also announced fast browsing in Google Play for people on 2G and other low-bandwidth connections. Fast browsing uses preloading on Wi-Fi to load the most popular parts of Google Play quickly. And when a user on a low-bandwidth connection chooses to install an app, Google Play will offer a new “Wait for Wi-Fi” option where the app will only install when the phone next connects to Wi-Fi.
Fast browsing launches today as an experiment exclusively to Play users in India.
New features for Chrome
Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Vice-President, Product Management, Chrome announced a group of tailored features for Chrome that make the web a better place for mobile users facing data constraints. Data Saver mode — which reduces the amount of data Chrome uses on Android mobile devices, computers, and Chromebooks — will now support MP4 videos, saving up to over two-thirds (67%) of video data. Chrome on Android will now also automatically optimize pages to their essentials when 2G-like networks are detected. These simplified pages load up to 2X faster, saving more than 90% of data usage.
Chrome on Android’s new Download feature will now allow users to save web pages, videos, music, or pictures. Downloaded items can be easily accessed in Chrome’s new downloads tab, even when offline. And if users go offline before the download is complete, the process will automatically resume next time they’re connected.