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Google For India 2021: Here’s Everything Google Announced For Digital India
Google plays a significant role in India's rapidly growing Digital Economy. GPay, Google Maps, Google Search, etc. are some of the widely used Google apps/services by internet users in the country. To further boost India's digital economy, Google has announced a range of new product features and partnerships at its seventh Google For India event, 2021. These new products are aimed at extending the benefits of India's growing digital economy to more people.
The search engine giant's latest product innovations will act as a catalyst to broaden the inclusive base of India's digital economy. Google's new products will work towards meeting the following goals:
- Enable new internet users in the country to get easier access to information in Indian languages.
- Create more natural ways for local language speakers to interact with the internet.
- Make the Android experience more helpful.
- Provide support to India's small businesses and youth.
Google Assistant-enabled, End-to-end Vaccine Booking Flow
One of the most imperative products of the lot is the Google Assistant-enabled, end-to-end vaccine booking flow. The module will provide step-by-step voice guidance in English and eight Indian languages to users trying to book a vaccination appointment on the COWIN website. This feature will be available in Chrome on Android and will begin rolling out in early 2022. We expect the new Chrome extension to seamlessly work even on budget smartphones.
Digital Career Certifications Programme For Bridging The Talent Gap
Google also announced a new career certification programme to expand the base of digitally-trained talent in India. The programme includes 100,000 scholarships for Google Career Certificates in collaboration with NASSCOM Foundation, Tata STRIVE, and SafeEducate. These institutes will help in identifying underserved learners across the country for a free enrolment to a Google Career Certificate of their choice. The Certificates are available via Coursera for IT Support, IT Automation, Project Management, Data Analytics and UX Design.
Importantly, Google has also joined a set of companies that recognize the certificates. Along with Google India, Accenture in India, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Genpact, Times Internet, and Better.com will recognize the certificates, and more will be roped in later to the employer pool.
Enhanced Language Support In Google Search
A new feature in 'Google Search' will address the lack of adequate local language content for queries from internet users seeking high-quality results. The new extension will give users an option to access web pages from other languages and view them in their preferred local language. This feature aims at bridging the information gap that local language users often encounter when searching for information online.
For instance, if Google is not able to locate websites for a query in a local language, the new extension will find high-quality content on pages that may be in other languages and will translate the pages into the language of the user's query. When users will tap the translated title and snippet in search results, they will see the page with the content already translated into their language of choice, or view it in the original language.
Enhanced Voice Driven Experiences
Google has also developed a new module to expand voice-driven experiences in local languages. The new feature will enable people to hear search results out loud, making it easier for users who prefer consuming information by listening. Available in Hinglish and five Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, and Tamil, the feature will extend to other Google Search experiences in the future.
Simplification Of Digital Payments
- The digital payments system has changed the economical landscape of India. Google Pay's new product feature will make digital payments universally more relevant and inclusive for individual users and merchants in India. Google Pay users will now have the option of selecting Hinglish as a preferred language for easy navigation in the preferred language.
- Google also introduced the 'Speech to Text' feature integration in the Google Pay app to bring further convenience to users for digital payments. The feature will allow users to use voice as an input to add account numbers into the app to initiate a payment and an additional feature to split bills for shared expenses within a group.
- The new MyShop feature in the Google Pay app will allow merchants to build a storefront on the digital app platform. Merchants will be presented with options to add images, descriptions of their products, and prices easily and intuitively. To add further convenience, merchants will have the option to share the link, through their Business Profile, across Google surfaces and beyond Google on social media.
Moving on, Google also showed an active interest in addressing crucial matters such as Climate Change. Google announced its partnerships with the Central Pollution Control Board to bring the latest Air Quality Information, and with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to launch Weather Alerts for extreme climatic conditions.
These new features will now be accessible on Google Search. Searching for "Air quality near me" or "Air quality in Noida" will show real-time AQI information from the nearest station.
Besides, Google has also introduced new tools to simplify user experience for users invested in topics such as local news, topics beyond broad areas, etc. You can read more about such enhancements in our detailed story about Google's new tools that'll make local news more relevant than ever.