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Tech giant Google today announced several new India-first products and features that offer a richer experience for the ever-growing base of Indian internet users.
The company has launched two-wheeler navigation in Google Maps, bill pay in Tez , Android Oreo (Go edition) to improve the experience on low-RAM phones, new apps like Google Go and Files Go that are built from scratch, and the Google Assistant for the JioPhone that brings the benefits of the Assistant to millions of first-time internet users.
Rajan Anandan, VP, South East Asia, said, "India crossed the 400 million internet user mark this year and Indians were consuming more data than ever before - 4GB on average every month, projected to grow to 11GB per month in the next four years. The growing base of Internet users is hungry for better online experiences and we at Google have been working to build new products and features specifically for them."
The two-wheeler mode uses machine learning to suggest more relevant routes for riders, using smaller roads and two-wheeler-friendly shortcuts. It will also show major landmarks on the route so that riders can better plan their trip before starting, and not keep checking their phone on-the-go. Two-wheeler mode will be available in India starting today, with more countries in the coming months, Google said.
Martha Welsh, Director Google Maps said, "India is the world's largest two-wheeler market and the navigation needs of these millions of riders are different from automobile drivers. Two-wheeler mode in Maps gives routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars. It also provides customized traffic and arrival time estimations.
The tech giant also announced Android Oreo (Go edition) - a new smartphone experience for entry-level devices - is available to the Android ecosystem of developers, partners, and carriers as part of today's release of Android 8.1. Phones running Android Oreo (Go edition) will hit shelves in the coming months. Oreo devices with 512MB to 1GB of RAM will get all the optimizations that come with Android Oreo (Go edition), including a better performing OS with built-in data management features and security benefits.
There is also a new set of pre-installed Google apps, including Google Go and Google Assistant for Android Oreo (Go edition), designed to be lighter and more relevant to the unique needs of the next billion users. Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphones also come with a version of the Google Play Store that enables users to download an app, while highlighting the apps designed to work best on Go edition devices.
Google announced the extension of the Internet Saathi program, to support the Foundation For Rural Entrepreneurship Development (FREND) set up by Tata Trusts.