Google has a new favourite market — India — and a novel customer base — low-end Android-based smartphone users.
In an effort to satisfy both, Google is planning to unveil Android Oreo Go edition in India, first introducing phones with either 512MB or 1GB of RAM. For now, the Go edition of Oreo is available for manufacturers to start using, which should mean it’ll be see it on new devices soon.
Android Go is intended to raise the quality of low-end devices, but from different directions.
Besides, it also unveiled on Tuesday a new variant of its voice-based Google Assistant for JioPhone in Hindi and English and new apps such as Google Go for a lighter and faster search and Files Go for optimizing data storage.
Google also introduced a new feature on its Maps — two-wheeler mode, which will show trip routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars and trucks.
Given a vast majority of the Indian population uses bikes or scooters to commute in India, the new feature will provide customized traffic and arrival time estimations.
Most of these products are designed especially for the Indian market and have been rolled out globally. Caesar Sengupta, vice president, Next Billion Users, Google, told ET these launches prove Google’s belief that building for India first can lead to creating better products for the world.
“We realize that most of our users are mobile-first or mobile-only. They are usually very young and they are in countries like India, Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria…” Within that, India is larger than the rest put together. “We have realized that once you build something well for India, it will work everywhere,” Sengupta added.
Accelerating its Next Billion Users program, Google recently launched Datally, a mobile data manager that will help you monitor, save, and gain control of your data in India.