Google Assistant gets a phone line in India, new Indic languages now supported across Google apps
The count of smartphone users in India stands at 400 million and it’s growing at an enormous rate – in fact, it is the only growing smartphone market globally. This makes India not only a market full of opportunities for smartphone companies but also for software giants such as Google. Today, at the 5th edition of the Google For India, the tech giant has some India-specific announcements. We’re seeing announcements for the Google app including results in three more Indic languages and new languages for the Discover tab. There are several new updates for the Google Assistant and the Google Pay platforms.
The announcements made at the Google for India event are listed as follows:
AI for India
AI appears to be at the heart of Google’s worldwide endeavors and a similar trend is seen in India. With the objective of democratizing AI, Google has now announced a new AI research lab in Bengaluru, India. This research lab is intended towards applying AI to solve problems specific to India including a prediction for natural disasters, especially perennial floods. The lab will also contribute to the growth of AI-related academics as well as computer science-related research.
Marathi, Tamil, and Telegu in bilingual Google Search
India is home to hundreds of languages and tens of scripts so Google is expanding its support for these languages. In the Google app, there are now three new Indic languages – Marathi, Tamil, and Telegu – being added to Google Search so that users can get results in their preferred language even when they type the search keyword in English. There’s a new switch below the Search bar on the Google app which allows switching between languages for the Search results. Further, users will now get contextual and personalized results in the language that they read content in. So for instance, if a user likes to read in Tamil, they will get more results in Tamil by default instead of those in English or any other language.
7 new Indic languages in Discover feed
Google has witnessed a 20 times increase in the use of Indic languages in Search, since Indian smartphones (by law) must come with Indic languages pre-installed. In the Discover tab, Google is now adding support for 7 new languages as well as an Interest picker to customize content even better.
Marathi, Tamil, and Telegu translation support in Google Lens
There are new features coming to Google Lens as well. Google has announced three new languages – Marathi, Tamil, and Telegu – that will be added to Google Lens. Users will now be able to point at a text written in any of these three scripts, besides Hindi, and get an instant translation of text. The feature also supports tap and search, with which users can tap on any word in the translated text to search to further add context to their translations.
New languages in Bolo
The Bolo app, launched in March this year, helps kids learn how to read word-by-word in a transcript reader format. The app gamifies the process by giving points to users every time they read a sentence correctly. The Bolo app now gets support for seven new languages to help kids learn how to read in these languages besides Hindi and English. Google is also partnering with the Global Book Alliance and several NGOs to add several new books for kids to read in the Bolo app.
Google Assistant in Hindi for Android TV, food delivery
Google Assistant is one of Google’s flagship and most useful products. The smart aide has gotten very smart in terms of identifying and responding in Hind and that’s why Assistant will soon be available in Hindi for Android TVs. Additionally, Google Assistant is gaining support for as many as 32 Indic languages and just like Amazon’s Alexa, you will have access to a variety of food delivery services in India. This includes providers such as Dominos, Faasos, FreshMenu, and Dunzo.
Google Assistant without internet on a phone line
Besides these additions, the Google Assistant’s Interpreter mode for real-time translation between Hindi and English is being extended to Android smartphones, including the low-power Android Go devices. But people in India who still suffer from patchy internet can now access the Google Assistant by dialing a phone number (+91-800-9191-000). The service is currently limited to users Vodafone-Idea subscribers but should be extended to other networks.