Google for India: Building India-first merchandise and options

The web in India has undergone an unimaginable transformation. This 12 months India crossed the 400 million web person mark. And Indians are utilizing extra information than ever earlier than—4GB on common each month, projected to develop to 11GB per 30 days within the subsequent 4 years. Cheaper information by way of provider innovation and higher entry to public WiFi akin to Google Station makes the richness of the web extra accessible to Indians. And in consequence, they’re spending extra time watching their favourite movies and fewer time worrying about the price of information.

With so many web customers hungry to do much more on-line, we’ve been working to construct new merchandise and options particularly for India. At our third annual Google for India occasion, in Delhi in the present day, we introduced a few of these updates. Here’s a glance:

A greater entry-level smartphone expertise with Android Oreo (Go version)

Android Oreo (Go version)—a brand new smartphone expertise for entry-level gadgets—is out there to the Android ecosystem of builders, companions and carriers as a part of in the present day’s launch of Android 8.1. Oreo gadgets with 512MB to 1GB of RAM will get all of the optimizations that include Android Oreo (Go version), together with a greater performing OS with built-in information administration options and safety advantages. There can also be a brand new set of pre-installed Google apps, together with Google Go and the Google Assistant for Android Oreo (Go version), designed to be lighter and extra related to the distinctive wants of the subsequent billion customers. Android Oreo (Go version) smartphones additionally include a model of the Google Play Store that permits folks to obtain any app, whereas highlighting the apps designed to work finest on Go version gadgets.

Our companions’ telephones operating Android Oreo (Go version) will hit cabinets in early 2018.

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Google Go, a brand new app from Google Search

One of the core apps designed for Android Oreo (Go version) is Google Go, a brand new app from Google Search. Available in the present day as a preview on the Google Play Store in India and Indonesia, Google Go is tailored for the hundreds of thousands of individuals in these nations coming on-line for the primary time. It’s easy to make use of and quick even on entry degree gadgets and spotty connections, making discovering, sharing and discovering content material simpler and extra dependable.

Google Go has three particular options that meet the wants of customers who’re new to the web. First, typing on a small system will be gradual and cumbersome, and other people might not know what to search for on-line, so Google Go’s tap-first person interface helps them higher categorical themselves, discover new concepts, discover issues to share and information them across the internet. Second, Google Go is mild on storage and information, and nice on patchy connections. It’s lower than 5MB to obtain, and search ends in Google Go are optimized to save lots of as much as 40 p.c information. Third, it’s very straightforward to modify and see solutions in one other language, for instance, between Hindi and English.

Free up house in your cellphone with Files Go

Files Go is a brand new app that helps unencumber house, discover recordsdata quicker and share recordsdata offline with folks close by. In assessments over the past month, the common person saved 1GB of house. Files Go was constructed from scratch for Go version gadgets, and in the present day the official model launched on the Google Play Store. Learn extra about Files Go on this put up.

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The Google Assistant for the JioPhone

A particular model of the Google Assistant—the Google Assistant for the JioPhone, constructed for India in each English and Hindi—is launching in the present day. This will assist convey the advantages of the Google Assistant to hundreds of thousands of first time web customers on the JioPhone with an intuitive voice-based person interface, together with a wealthy set of information companies. The Assistant can assist make cellphone calls, textual content, play music and movies, navigate and search the web, and entry different apps and companies.

Two-wheeler mode in Google Maps involves India first

Another India-first characteristic is the brand new “two-wheeler mode” in Google Maps. India is the biggest two-wheeler market on the planet, and the hundreds of thousands of bike and scooter riders have completely different navigation wants than drivers of cars. Two-wheeler mode in Maps exhibits journey routes that use “shortcuts” not accessible to vehicles and vehicles. It additionally gives custom-made visitors and arrival time estimations. And since so many Indians depend on native landmarks for navigation, two-wheeler mode will present main landmarks on the route in order that riders can plan their journey earlier than beginning, and don’t should maintain checking the cellphone on the go.

Two-wheeler mode is launching in India in the present day, to be adopted by extra nations within the coming months.

Tez momentum and new options

Our India-first cell funds app Tez has seen big progress in its first 10 weeks. Tez has processed over 140 million transactions from practically 12 million lively customers. There are greater than 525,000 retailers already on Tez, utilizing it to take funds, pay their suppliers or switch cash to staff. And Tez isn’t simply being utilized in India’s high metros—the truth is, we’ve seen Tez customers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from cities in Arunachal Pradesh to the villages of Gujarat.

In the approaching weeks, Tez will begin rolling out a custom-made expertise to pay payments proper within the app. More than 70 billers can be supported, together with utilities and direct-to-home service suppliers. Once folks pay a invoice on Tez, they by no means have so as to add the billing group once more. Tez will even remind customers when sure payments are due. And they’ll keep away from paying the identical invoice twice, because the fee standing can be routinely up to date.

And since funds aren’t merely transfers of cash, however typically, private exchanges for significant events, we’re including enjoyable animated moments that set off when a sure phrase or phrase seems within the message with the fee, akin to “howdy” or “India.”

We hope this suite of merchandise and options helps extra folks uncover how the web makes life simpler and extra handy for Indians—whether or not it’s serving to pay payments on time, navigating the quickest path to a vacation spot or looking for solutions to necessary questions.

These merchandise and options are India-first, but when we’ve seen something over the previous few years, India-first concepts aren’t simply helpful to folks in India. The mobile-first subsequent billion customers are altering the very nature of the web, and so after we construct higher merchandise for India, we finally construct higher merchandise for everybody—and for the long run.

This article sources data from The Keyword

Searching for China’s subsequent nice Go expertise

Searching for China’s subsequent nice Go expertise

Sundar Pichai, our CEO, with college students on the Nie Weiping Go faculty immediately. 

Six months in the past, the Future of Go Summit was held in Wuzhen, China to check the boundaries of what human and synthetic intelligence may obtain collectively. China’s greatest gamers teamed up with DeepMind’s AlphaGo to play Go within the nation the place it was invented and first performed greater than 3,000 years in the past.

Chinese players Future of Go Summit

9 dan Chinese gamers Shi Yue, Mi Yuting, Tang Weixing, Chen Yaoye, and Zhou Ruiyang on the Future of Go Summit

I had watched the sooner video games between Korean Go legend Lee Sedol and AlphaGo. In Wuzhen, I used to be once more struck by how AlphaGo’s unconventional strikes pushed human gamers into equally inventive responses, creating fascinating new gameplay and sparking new momentum within the Go neighborhood. After AlphaGo’s video games, folks purchased so many Go boards that shops had been reportedly promoting out! The brilliance and dedication that nice gamers like Ke Jie, Gu Li and Lian Xiao demonstrated in Wuzhen has stayed with me.

We’d like to assist the following technology of Go gamers in China uncover that very same ardour. So we’re supporting the Nie Weiping Go School, one of many world’s most prestigious Go-learning establishments, to carry open Go competitions for youths and younger adults throughout China—in hope of serving to to search out and nurture China’s subsequent nice Go expertise.

Any Go participant as younger as 4 and as much as the age of 18 will be capable of participate. The greatest gamers will journey to Beijing for a nationwide contest subsequent summer season. There, they’ll play for an opportunity to win one among greater than 200 scholarships that we’ll fund for promising Go expertise to review on the Nie faculty. They’ll additionally play for a chance to check their expertise in opposition to one of many world’s top-ranked gamers.

Humanity’s 3,000-year-old quest to grasp the complexity of Go continues with new instruments and new generations. Artificial intelligence has not diminished our ardour, however solely broadened our understanding of the sport’s potentialities. I’m sure that the Go champions of the long run will embrace synthetic intelligence of their quest to realize an ever extra excellent recreation. Let’s maintain enjoying and let’s continue learning!

This article sources data from The Keyword

Machine studying provides environmentalists one thing to tweet about

Machine studying provides environmentalists one thing to tweet about

Editor’s notice: TensorFlow, our open supply machine studying library, is simply that—open to anybody. Companies, nonprofits, researchers and builders have used TensorFlow in some fairly cool methods, and we’re sharing these tales right here on Keyword. Here’s one in every of them.

Victor Anton captured tens of 1000’s of birdsong recordings, collected over a three-year interval. But he had no technique to figure out which birdsong belonged to what chook.

The recordings, taken at 50 areas round a chook sanctuary in New Zealand often known as “Zelandia,” had been a part of an effort to higher perceive the motion and numbers of threatened species together with the Hihi, Tīeke and Kākāriki. Because researchers didn’t have dependable details about the place the birds had been and the way they moved about, it was troublesome to make good selections about the place to focus on conservation efforts on the bottom.

Endangered species include the Kākāriki, Hihi, and Tīekei

Endangered species embrace the Kākāriki, Hihi, and Tīekei.

That’s the place the recordings are available in. Yet the quantity of audio knowledge was overwhelming. So Victor—a Ph.D. scholar at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand—and his crew turned to know-how.

“We knew we had a lot of extremely useful knowledge tied up within the recordings, however we merely didn’t have the manpower or a viable resolution that may assist us unlock this,” Victor tells us. “So we turned to machine studying to assist us.”

Some of the audio recorders set up at 50 sites around the sanctuary

Some of the audio recorders arrange at 50 websites across the sanctuary.

In one of many quirkier functions of machine studying, they educated a Google TensorFlow-based system to acknowledge particular chook calls and measure chook exercise. The extra audio it deciphered, the extra it discovered, and the extra correct it turned.

It labored like this: the AI system used audio that had been recorded and saved, chopping it into minute-long segments, after which changing the file right into a spectrogram. After the spectrograms had been chopped into chunks, every spanning lower than a second, they had been processed individually by a deep convolutional neural community. A recurrent neural community then tied collectively the chunks and produced a continuing prediction of which of the three birds was current throughout the minute-long section. These segments had been compiled to create a fuller image concerning the presence and motion of the birds.

TensorFlow processed the Spectograms and learned to identify the calls of different species

TensorFlow processed the Spectograms and discovered to establish the calls of various species.

The crew confronted some distinctive challenges. They had been beginning with a small amount of labelled knowledge, the software program would typically decide up different noises like building, automobiles and even doorbells, and a number of the chook species had a wide range of birdsongs or two would sing on the similar time.

To overcome these hurdles, they examined, verified and retrained the system many occasions over. As a end result, they’ve discovered issues that may have in any other case remained locked up in 1000’s of hours of information. While it’s nonetheless early days, already conservation teams are speaking to Victor about how they’ll use these preliminary outcomes to higher goal their efforts. Moreover, the crew has seen sufficient encouraging indicators that they consider that their instruments could be utilized to different conservation tasks.

“We are solely simply starting to grasp the alternative ways we will put machine studying to work in serving to us shield completely different fauna,” says Victor, “finally permitting us to unravel different environmental challenges internationally.”

This article sources info from The Keyword

Meet Datally, a brand new method to perceive, management and save cell knowledge

Meet Datally, a brand new method to perceive, management and save cell knowledge

Mobile knowledge is pricey for many individuals all over the world. And what’s worse, it’s laborious to figure out the place all of it goes. That means you are by no means simply chatting, taking part in video games or watching movies in your cellphone—you are additionally anxiously keeping track of how lengthy your knowledge will final.

That’s why we constructed Datally, an app that helps you perceive, management and save knowledge. With Datally, it can save you extra and do extra together with your knowledge.

Datally lets you understand, control and and save mobile data

Understand, management and and save cell knowledge with Datally

Datally helps you do three issues:

  • Understand your knowledge. See your utilization on a hourly, every day, weekly or month-to-month foundation and get customized suggestions for how one can save extra.

  • Control your knowledge. Turn on the Data Saver bubble to dam background knowledge utilization and monitor real-time knowledge utilization whereas utilizing every of your apps—it’s like a speedometer on your knowledge. You can even block knowledge with one faucet if an app’s knowledge utilization will get uncontrolled.

  • Save your knowledge. Sometimes you simply want slightly greater than what you’ve obtained in your knowledge plan. Datally will let you know in the event you’re close to public Wi-Fi and provide help to join. Once you’re achieved, don’t overlook to charge the community high quality to assist different customers.

Track and control mobile data from any app with the Data Saver bubble

Track and management cell knowledge from any app with the Data Saver bubble

We’ve been testing Datally within the Philippines for the previous few months, and persons are saving as much as 30 % on their knowledge. So at the moment we’re excited to make Datally globally out there on the Google Play Store for all telephones operating Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and better.

Here’s to saving extra so you are able to do extra together with your cell knowledge!

Datally: A brand new cell data-saving app by Google

An eye match for Liberty

An eye match for Liberty

Fourteen weeks into my spouse Ashleigh’s being pregnant, she wakened one evening and stated, “we’re having a lady, and we’re going to identify her Liberty.” A number of months later, she turned out to be proper—as she typically is. 

Ashleigh’s being pregnant was with out complication. However, at just one week outdated, Liberty was identified with Bilateral Microphthalmia, a uncommon eye situation. She wanted a prosthetic eye to help with facial development, which meant we would have liked to seek out an ocularist, somebody who specializes within the crafting and becoming of prosthetic eyes. What ensued was two years of ups and downs for Liberty and eventual hopelessness for us, because the eyes Liberty received after the primary 12 months weren’t becoming correctly, and precipitated her excessive ache. During one dreadful appointment, Liberty was fitted with a mismatched eye that was bulging out of her head. After a silent four-hour drive again house with Ashleigh in tears and myself filled with anger and willpower, I made a decision I used to be going to start out making Liberty’s eye for her.

That evening, I began looking out on Google for instruments and provides I would want, and movies from folks within the subject to review. Eventually I discovered essentially the most useful gizmo in my coaching—YouTube—and a video posted by John Pacey-Lowrie, a famend ocularist from the U.Ok. He had posted a few clips from his clinic detailing his distinctive methodology of eye-making, which borrowed strategies dentists use to make prosthetic enamel. John used YouTube to broadcast his method and appeal to extra expertise into the ocularist subject. It was his movies, and later apprenticeship, that took my coaching to the subsequent stage.

Late one evening, I walked in from the storage and offered Ashleigh with “the attention,” the most effective one I’d made a 12 months of making an attempt John’s method. Ashleigh was my solely high quality management on the time, and he or she examined the attention carefully earlier than lastly giving me the greenlight to attempt it on Liberty the subsequent day.

Sure sufficient, the attention not solely match, however regarded nice.


The extra I labored on Liberty’s eyes, the extra I considered serving to different folks in want. I didn’t need anybody to undergo the ache our household did. Learning this craft went from being a necessity to a ardour to a wholly new profession.

Which is what we’re doing now. Ashleigh and I’ve just lately opened our personal clinic, Oculus Prosthetics, the place our sufferers are younger youngsters and adults alike. We deal with these with Liberty’s situation, in addition to sufferers with retinoblastoma and different eye traumas. I’m additionally borrowing a web page from John’s playbook and sharing what I’ve realized on YouTube, to assist different sufferers and fogeys of youngsters in want.

As a mother or father, you need your youngsters to feel and look as regular as attainable. Liberty stays a very empathetic little woman who blows us away each day together with her energy and enthusiasm for all times, regardless of all of the challenges she has confronted. Liberty loves assembly pals identical to her, and particularly loves bragging concerning the eye her father made her.

Liberty at home

This article sources info from The Keyword

Experimenting with VR on the South China Morning Post

Experimenting with VR on the South China Morning Post

Having spent my pre-Google profession as a reporter and editor at legacy media organizations, I can inform you that digital transformation within the information business is difficult. Even when information organizations have the desire, sources and technical experience, the obstacles to transformation may be daunting.

In Asia, few information group have plunged headlong into digital transformation like South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s prime English-language every day newspaper. With a every day weekday circulation of roughly 105Okay, SCMP is a midsize paper, however its language and geography give it outsized affect.

For greater than a century, SCMP has been documenting Greater China for the English-speaking diaspora throughout Asia-Pacific. Before the web, expatriates and guests would decide up the paper, typically days outdated, on airplanes and in inns throughout the area. For these residing in mainland China (like I did within the 1990s), the paper supplied a window into the place the place they lived, from a well-known but discrete vantage level.

Now, SCMP makes use of the net to achieve the rising international neighborhood of readers eager about information about China, and experiment with new strategies of storytelling alongside the way in which. After its buy by Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma in 2016, the newspaper all of a sudden had a mandate to evolve, and was given the runway and sources to experiment.

“Culture and identification are massively necessary if you end up making an attempt to show round a 114-year-old firm … till you have got an organization that is able to experiment, prepared to fail, and in a position to transfer with agility … you possibly can discuss all day lengthy about transformation and the place you’re heading however you’ll by no means get there,” mentioned SCMP CEO Gary Liu in an interview with Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Policy.

That entrepreneurial spirit led SCMP to tackle an immersive digital actuality challenge that may hint the historical past of Hong Kong from British rule to the current day, mining a century’s price of archival images and illustrations and presenting them alongside modern-day 360-degree video and drone footage. The challenge was Google News Lab’s first immersive storytelling partnership within the Asia-Pacific area, a part of the crew’s broader effort to speed up immersive storytelling throughout the information business.


“It needed to be large, daring, and delightful—and leverage new codecs, applied sciences and platforms to inform the story,” in keeping with SCMP on-line editor Brett McKeehan, who helmed the challenge and talked in regards to the course of at a current Google News Lab occasion.

In order to make the challenge accessible to as many readers as potential, particularly within the smartphone-dominant Asian market, the SCMP crew constructed a responsive web site that was optimized for cellular, pill and desktop. Animations of 3D Google Earth imagery helped to inform the story and orient the reader throughout time and house all through the piece.


One of Hong Kong’s wettest Junes in historical past.

They set a deadline to finish the challenge inside two months—an eternity for a newspaper used to every day deadlines. “What can’t you do in two months? What may probably go improper? Two months—I assumed, we may do something in two months,” McKeehan mentioned. Shooting and manufacturing schedules had been set, everybody was able to go…

And then it rained. And rained and rained—for six straight weeks—one in all Hong Kong’s wettest Junes in historical past.

While it rained, the Hong Kong authorities modified its drone restrictions, rendering sure deliberate photographs unlawful. Meanwhile, SCMP’s developer crew of three discovered tips on how to construct, for the primary time, a responsive HTML webframe that may work for each iOS and Android.

SCMP_Back 2017-07-10 at 3.19.46 pm.png

A drone is being readied to seize footage throughout Hong Kong.

In the top, Brett and his crew needed to change their challenge scope and push again their launch date to beat the numerous unexpected logistical and improvement challenges that sprang up all through the method.

“It’s not a story of of pixies and rainbows…It is a story of toil and frustration, and the complications that include doing one thing new.”

Despite the ache, Brett mentioned the expertise was worthwhile, as a result of it introduced new expertise that had been now embedded within the newsroom. But for anybody embarking on the journey, he supplied the next suggestions:

  • Embrace the medium: 360, VR, AR supply unimaginable storytelling potentialities. The sooner you make the leap, the higher. 
  • Experiment with new applied sciences, however begin small earlier than taking over extra bold tasks.
  • Don’t outsource: Bite the bullet, purchase your individual tools (get low cost stuff and play). Own your concepts and develop your individual expertise.

“We’re an aspirational writer. We’re doing one thing for the primary time. So we made it; we’re pleased with that,” McKeehan mentioned.

And that’s success, Gary Liu, SCMP’s CEO,  instructed me after it was printed. “The level was to do it and be taught within the course of.”

This article sources data from The Keyword