Google voice assistant comes to JioPhone

By Anuj Sharma - December 5, 2017
Available in both English and Hindi, Google Assistant on the JioPhone has an intuitive voice-based user interface, along with a rich set of data services.

Google today announced an Indian version of Google Assistant for the JioPhone to help bring the benefits of the Google virtual assistant to millions of first time internet users. Available in both English and Hindi, Google Assistant on the JioPhone has an intuitive voice-based user interface, along with a rich set of data services.

The Assistant can help make phone calls, text, play music and videos, navigate and search the internet, and access other apps and services.

“India crossed the 400 million internet user mark and users are using more data than ever before -- 4GB on average every month, which is projected to grow to 11GB per month in the next four years. With so many internet users hungry to do even more online, we’ve been working to build new products and features specifically for India,” said Caesar Sengupta, VP, Next Billion Users team.

At the third annual Google for India event, the company announced new Google Go app, Files Go app and updates for its proprietary payment app Tez.

Available today as a preview on the Google Play Store in India and Indonesia, Google Go is tailor-made for millions of users coming online for the first time. It’s simple to use and fast even on entry level devices and spotty connections, making discovering, sharing and finding content easier and more reliable.

Google Go has tap-first user interface helping users better express themselves, explore new ideas, find things to share and guide them around the web. Available in English and Hindi, the app is light on storage and data, and great on patchy connections. It’s less than 5MB to download, and search results in Google Go are optimised to save up to 40 per cent data.

Files Go helps free up space, find files faster and share files offline with people nearby. The tests conducted by company last month revealed that the average user saved 1GB of space. The app is available on Play Store.

Google’s India-first mobile payments app Tez saw a huge growth in its first 10 weeks and processed over 140 million transactions from nearly 12 million active users. Over 525,000 merchants are already using Tez to take payments, pay their suppliers or transfer money to employees.

“We’ve seen Tez users from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from towns in Arunachal Pradesh to the villages of Gujarat,” the company said.

In the coming weeks, Tez will start rolling out a customised experience to pay bills right in the app. More than 70 billers will be supported, including utilities and direct-to-home service providers. Once people pay a bill on Tez, they never have to add the billing organisation again and the app will also remind users when certain bills are due.  Google has also added fun animated moments that trigger when a certain word or phrase appears in the message with the payment, such as “hello” or “India.”

“These products and features are India-first, but if we’ve seen anything over the last few years, India-first ideas aren’t just useful to people in India. The mobile-first next billion users are changing the very nature of the internet, and so when we build better products for India, we ultimately build better products for everyone—and for the future,” said Caesar Sengupta, VP, Next Billion Users Team, Google.

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  • Google
  • JioPhone
  • Google Tez