Google for India 2021: Google Pay, Search to Assistant, everything announced today
At the Google for India 2021 event today, a host of new features, including Google Pay, Google Search and Google Assistant were announced.
Google on Thursday hosted its annual Google for India 2021 event in India. This is the 7th edition of the event and unlike the years before, it was hosted online keeping in view the ongoing pandemic. At its Google for India 2021 event, Google announced a host of new features that will be available in its various products and services including its payments platform -- Google Pay, search engine -- Google Search and its virtual assistant -- Google Assistant. In case you missed today's event, here is everything that Google announced at its Google for India 2021 event today:
-- Google today announced that now users will be able to book Covid-19 vaccines in India via Google Assistant. The tech giant has worked with COWIN to integrate its platform such that people everywhere in the country will be able to easily book a vaccine appointment in a more guided manner.
This feature will work in English and eight Indian languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu. Google will begin rolling it out in early 2022.
-- Google today announced a new feature in Google Search that will give users the ability to access web pages originally written in other languages, and see them in their preferred language. At the moment, this feature is available in five Indian languages including Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam, and it will get support for more languages soon. It can be accessed on any mobile browser that supports Google Search.
-- Google also announced that it is expanding voice-driven experiences in Indian languages by introducing the ability to hear search results out loud, for users who find it easier to consume information by listening. This feature is launching first in India and it will be available in Hinglish and five Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, and Tamil. Google plans to add this feature to other Google Search experiences in the coming days.
-- One of the more interesting announcements that Google made today was rolling out support for ‘Hinglish', which is a combination of Hindi and English, on the Google Pay app. Google says that the introduction of Hinglish is its ‘attempt to make these interactions even more intuitive and natural via Google Pay.'
-- Google today also announced the launch of speech-to-text, which enables Google Pay users to use voice input to pay directly to another user's bank account. Google Pay users can use voice account numbers in Hindi or English into the app to enter the account number, which is then confirmed with the sender before initiating the payment.
-- Another interesting feature coming to Google Pay is called Bill Split. This feature enables users to split the bill and settle shared expenses.
-- Google also launched MyShop functionality on Google Pay for Business app. This feature provides merchants a quick store builder tool, where they can add images, descriptions, prices within minutes and then share the link, through the Business Profile, across Google surfaces and beyond Google on social media.
-- In addition to the above-mentioned developments, Google announced a partnership with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as a part of which Google will bring the latest Air Quality Information to Google Search. Google Search users can now see Air Quality from their nearest station by typing queries like “Air quality near me” or “Air quality Delhi”.
-- Google also announced a partnership with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to launch Weather Alerts for extreme climatic conditions. Google says that when extreme conditions are developing, severe weather alerts issued by the IMD will show up in the ‘At-a-Glance' section on users' Android phones' home screen, as well as on Google Search. Users can also ask Google for this information with a query like “Weather near me”. Google Assistant will also respond with spoken weather alerts to such queries.
-- Additionally, Google announced that its Look to Speak app, which helps people communicate by using their eyes using pre-stored words and phrases, is now available in five Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, and Bengali.
-- Lastly, Google also announced two new features coming to Google Classroom soon. The first of these features will bring the ability to download study material from the internet and work on it offline, and the second feature will enable students to select and upload multiple homework images through the app.
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