Google offers educational program for summer vacations in India

Technology behemoth Google has rolled out a new educational program for children and parents for the summer vacations. According to a PTI report, the US-based technology major Google, as part of its #SummerWithGoogle, is offering a slew of activities to keep teenagers engaged throughout their summer vacations, quoting Sunita Mohanty, Director of Trust and Safety, Google India, the agency report said.

According to its plan, Google will release one assignment every week for four weeks which involves a gamut of its product range such as Google Earth, Google Translate and Google Arts and Culture, Mohanty told the news agency. According to her, the last assignment will entail development of an app to share their summer experience. Sunita said, “After four weeks, 100 children will be chosen along with an accompanying parent to visit our campus in either Delhi or Hyderabad to attend an interactive workshop. What is more, she explained that each assignment will also teach these youngsters “how to be Internet Smart, Internet Alert, Internet Strong, Internet Kind and Internet Brave”. “Parents are also encouraged to be a part of the programme that is being launched for the first time in India”, she added.

India First Products

Reiterating its commitment to connect the next billion Indians, Google had in December last year, announced a slew of India-first products and features that will also be unveiled in other developing nations in the near future. As per IANS report, it is estimated that at present there are in excess of 400 million Internet users in the country along with over 300 million Smartphone users. Rajan Anandan, Vice President, South East Asia and India at Google revealed this at the company’s third annual Google for India event held in Delhi. According to the official, on an average, a connected mobile Internet user in the country today is consuming over 4GB of data a month. What is more, at the current growth rate and given the connectivity environment, the tech firm expects this number to touch 11GB per user a month in the next four years. Rightly so, Google is here to help connect all, Anandan said.

Internet for Every Indian

“There are 230 million Indian language users online on Google today and 170 million of them are using our messaging service. Yet, we have over 900 million Indians who aren’t connected to Internet. Our mission is Internet for every Indian. We’ll stay focussed until every single Indian is connected,” Anandan pointed out.

At the event, Google announced Android Oreo (Go edition) will be available for entry-level Smartphones, for which India is a humongous market. Android Oreo (Go edition) is available for the Android eco-system of developers, partners and carriers as part of Android 8.1 Oreo release.

Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Next Billion Users Team at Google said, “Oreo devices with 512MB to 1GB of RAM will get all the optimisations that come with Android Oreo (Go edition), including a better performing OS with built-in data management features and security benefits.”

The company also announced a new set of pre-installed lighter Google apps, including Google Go (a new app from Google Search) and Google Assistant for Android Oreo (Go edition). Google Go is light on storage and data and works efficiently on patchy connections. “It’s less than 5MB to download, and search results in Google Go are optimised to save up to 40 percent data,” Sengupta added. Google also announced “Files Go,” an app that will help free up space, find files faster and share files offline on smartphones that come with less internal storage. The company also brought bill payment facilities on its digital payment app “Tez”. “More than 70 billers will be supported, including utilities and direct-to-home service providers, on Tez,” Sengupta said.

“Tez” will support bill payments for Tata Power, MTNL, DishTV, CPDCL and other utility providers that will include national and state electricity providers, water, DTH, and gas recharges. Tez has processed over 140 million transactions from nearly 12 million active users. There are more than 525,000 merchants already on Tez. To help bikers find the most suitable route in India, Google incorporated navigation routes for two-wheelers with Voice Assistant capabilities in its Maps feature.

Two-wheeler Mode in Google Maps

“The India-first feature is the new “two-wheeler mode” in Google Maps, while India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and the millions of motorcycle and scooter riders have different navigation needs than drivers of automobiles,” Sengupta. Two-wheeler mode in Maps shows trip routes that use “shortcuts” not accessible to cars and trucks. The two-wheeler mode will arrive in more countries later. In an apparent move to empower feature phone users in India, Google announced to bring its Voice Assistant on Reliance JioPhone. The Google Assistant for JioPhone will be available in English and Hindi. This is the first time Voice Assistant will be available in any feature phone, added the agency report.

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