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Google for India: 9 announcements by Sundar Pichai

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New Delhi: India-born Sundar Pichai, in his first trip to the country after becoming the Google CEO, discussed several points in his keynote address at the Google for India event held here on Wednesday.

Pichai focused on the current and future project plans in collaboration with India, which included Project Loon, which is starting next year to bring the rural areas under internet coverage. He also spoke about Google’s focus on offline technologies using smartphones.

The following are the key announcements from the Google for India event which shows the company’s plans for India:

  1. Pichai predicted that India will have more android users than the US by 2016.
  1. The new virtual keyboard on Android will support 11 Indian languages.
  1. To rev up its presence in the engineering and business sector in the country, Google will set up a campus in Hyderabad. Bangalore and Hyderabad will soon see campus recruitments to this end.

  1. Over the next three years, Google will be training two million android developers via 30 universities in India, and the National Skill Development Corporation.
  1. In a move towards making the entire nation internet-enabled, Google has promised to provide wi-fi to 100 railway stations over the country by the end of 2016, with help from Indian Railways and RailTel. Mumbai Central station will get wi-fi access by January, next year.
  1. The Asus Chromebit stick PC, a candy bar-like device which can turn any monitor into a computer, will be launched in January 2016 with the Chrome OS, at prices starting from Rs 7,999.

  1. Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages— a new feature which will improve page loading speed.
  1. “lighter” version of Search results was introduced, which will load faster and increase traffic for publishers.
  1. Google will bring out the Tap to Translate feature in 2016, which instantly translates a highlighted word without having to change apps to find the translated meaning. A demonstration for the same was also carried out using the camera lens.

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Google’s Smart Messaging App Allo Will Not Work After March 2019

This year Google launched Duo support for iPad, Android Tablet, Chromebook, and Smart Displays

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Google to retire smart messaging app Allo after March 2019. Pixabay

Google has said its smart messaging app Allo will not work after March 2019 as the company focuses on improving its Android Messages app and video calling app Duo.

“Allo will continue to work through March 2019 and until then, you’ll be able to export all of your existing conversation history from the app,” Matt Klainer, Vice President, Consumer Communications Products at Google said in a blog post on Thursday.

Launched in September 2016 with much fanfare, Allo — Google’s messaging rival to WhatsApp and Apple iMessage — is an instant messaging mobile app for the Android and iOS mobile Operating Systems (OS), with a web client available on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera browsers.

Google paused investment in Allo earlier this year and brought some of its most-loved features – like Smart Reply, GIFs and desktop support – into Messages, which has over 175 million users.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

“Given Messages’ continued momentum, we’ve decided to stop supporting Allo to focus on Messages,” Klainer said.

“We’ve learned a lot from Allo, particularly what’s possible when you incorporate machine learning features, like the Google Assistant, into messaging,” Klainer added.

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Google said it will continue to bring more quality improvements based on Machine Learning that make video calls with Duo simple and reliable.

This year Google launched Duo support for iPad, Android Tablet, Chromebook, and Smart Displays. (IANS)