October 1, 2015

Google invites you to help create cinematic history

India stands at a unique moment in its history: a time of great change, sparked by technology. With the smartphone revolution transforming every aspect of our lives, from the mundane to the profound.

Helmed by a panel of acclaimed filmmakers including Ridley Scott, Anurag Kashyap, Richie Mehta, R. Balki, Zoya Akhtar and Shekhar Kapur, India In A Day aims to capture the story of 24 hours in evolving India - as seen through your eyes.

So, on 10th October, grab your camera and show us your story. How has technology transformed India? What can you do today that you couldn’t do 5 years ago? What do you hope for? What do you worry about? What can you now achieve? What can you now change?

When you’re done shooting, visit our website to upload your footage. If selected by our panel of filmmakers, it will be featured in a feature-length film that will premiere early next year. With your name on the credits.

India In A Day. Executive-produced by Ridley Scott and Anurag Kashyap; directed by Richie Mehta; filmed by you.

Posted by Sandeep Menon, Director of Marketing, Google India

September 28, 2015

Bringing the Internet to more Indians—starting with 10 million rail passengers a day

[Cross posted from the Official Google Blog]

When I was a student, I relished the day-long railway journey I would make from Chennai Central station (then known as Madras Central) to IIT Kharagpur. I vividly remember the frenetic energy at the various stations along the way and marveled at the incredible scale and scope of Indian Railways.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Googleplex today

I’m very proud to announce that it’s the train stations of India that are going to help get millions of people online. In the past year, 100 million people in India started using the Internet for the first time. This means there are now more Internet users in India than in every country in the world aside from China. But what's really astounding is the fact that there are still nearly one billion people in India who aren’t online.

We’d like to help get these next billion Indians online—so they can access the entire web, and all of its information and opportunity. And not just with any old connection—with fast broadband so they can experience the best of the web. That’s why, today, on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to our U.S. headquarters, and in line with his Digital India initiative, we announced a new project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India.

Working with Indian Railways, which operates one of the world's largest railway networks, and RailTel, which provides Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fiber network along many of these railway lines, our Access & Energy team plans to bring the first stations online in the coming months. The network will expand quickly to cover 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016, with the remaining stations following in quick succession.

Even with just the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day.  This will rank it as the largest public Wi-Fi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users. It will also be fast—many times faster than what most people in India have access to today, allowing travelers to stream a high definition video while they’re waiting, research their destination, or download some videos, a book or a new game for the journey ahead. Best of all, the service will be free to start, with the long-term goal of making it self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and other places, with RailTel and more partners, in the future.  

This map shows the first 100 stations that will have high-speed Wi-Fi by the end of 2016

We think this is an important part of making the Internet both accessible and useful for the more than 300 million Indians already online, and the nearly one billion more who are not.

But it’s not the only piece. To help more Indians get access to affordable, high-quality smartphones, which is the primary way most people there access the Internet, we launched Android One last year. To help address the challenges of limited bandwidth, we recently launched a feature that makes mobile webpages load faster and with less data, and we’ve made YouTube available offline with offline Maps coming soon.

To help make web content more useful for Indians, many of whom don’t speak English, we launched the Indian Language Internet Alliance last year to foster more local language content, and have built greater local language support into our products—including Hindi Voice Search, an improved Hindi keyboard and support for seven Indian languages with the latest versions of Android. And finally, to help all Indians reap the benefits of connectivity, we’ve been ramping up efforts to help women, who make up just a third of Internet users in India today, get the most from the web.

Just like I did years ago, thousands of young Indians walk through Chennai Central every day, eager to learn, to explore and to seek opportunity.  It’s my hope that this Wi-Fi project will make all these things a little easier.   

Posted by Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google.

September 21, 2015

Introducing Android Developer Nanodegree in India with Udacity

Get 1,000 free Nanodegree scholarships!

With a vision to transform India into a hub of high-quality mobile developers for global and local apps, we’re delighted to announce the launch of a program to offer Android Developer Nanodegrees in India in partnership with Udacity. The Android Nanodegree is an education credential that is designed to help developers learn new skills and advance their careers in a few months—from anywhere on any device—at their own pace. 

The Udacity Android Nanodegree program comprises of courses developed and taught by expert Google instructors from the Google Developer Relations team and will include project reviews, mentorship and career services from Udacity. The curriculum will be updated regularly with new releases and will provide developers with a certificate that will help them to be  a more marketable Android developer. 

With 3 million software developers, India is already the second largest developer population in the world but we still lag behind in creating world-class apps. With the launch of this program we want to bridge the gap by providing India’s developer community with an easy way to learn and build high quality apps for the world. Today, only less than 2% of  apps built in India feature in top 1000 apps globally and our goal is to raise this to 10% in next three years.

The Udacity Android Nanodegree program is open for enrollment from today. The program takes an average of 6-9 months to complete and costs Rs. 9,800 per month with Udacity refunding 50 percent of the tuition upon completion. Google and Tata Trusts have partnered to give 1000 scholarships for the Android Nanodegree to deserving students and will be available from today. Interesting applicants can visit https://www.udacity.com/india for more information. 

Speaking about their association with the Android Nanodegree program, Mr. Venkat - Managing Director of Tata Trusts said, “India has one of the youngest population of developers, where the average age of a developer is just 25 years old. While the last decade has established India as the largest provider of a skilled IT workforce to the world, there is an opportunity to help our young developers and equip them to compete on a global stage through educational and skill building programs. As part of our association, we’re glad to announce 500 free scholarships for the complete Android Nanodegree.

Posted by Peter Lubbers, Senior Program Manager

Vote for Dance India Dance on Google from your phone, tablet, or computer

Calling all Dance India Dance fans! 

Now, for the first time, you can vote for your favorite contestants directly from Google.

We’ve partnered with Zee TV to serve as an official voting platform for Dance India Dance and you can vote for finalists on Google from your phone, tablet, or desktop.

Visit google.co.in or use the Google Search App (iOS and Android) and search for [dance india dance] or [DID5] during the voting window and select from your favorite finalists.

Add up to 20 votes per contestant. You can select your favorites and submit your picks -- directly from Google. You can vote for as many contestants as you want.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 11.38.01 AM.png

Click submit to send your votes to Dance India Dance. Share on Google+, Twitter and Facebook and vote for another contestant if you haven’t yet.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 11.38.53 AM.png

Check out the upcoming show, and give these new pilot voting features a spin on Google!

Posted by Amrita Kamat, Strategic Partnerships Development Manager, APAC

September 15, 2015

The perfect gift for any occasion. Celebrate someone special or treat yourself with Google Play Gift Cards in India

Following the launch of Google Play prepaid vouchers in June, we have now rolled out physical gift cards in retail outlets across India. You can now find Google Play Gift Cards in the stores of Spice Hotspot, Vijay Sales, Planet M, Planet Mobile and Sangeetha Mobiles.

Google Play Gift cards are available in 3 denominations (₹750, ₹1000 & ₹1500) and can also be purchased on Snapdeal.com, even as COD shipments.

GooglePlayGC_CARDFAN.png    Google Play Gift Cards Devices.png

You can use Google Play Gift Cards to purchase your favorite apps and digital content, as well as in-app goods in your favorite apps and games. Visit http://play.google.com/redeem to redeem your Google Play Gift Cards.

To celebrate this announcement, we’ve also put together a range of offers on Google Play Apps, Games, Books and Movies here. You can now buy games like Prince of Persia at Rs. 10 or get big discounts on movies like The Great Gatsby or Sherlock Holmes during this promotion.

We hope the increased availability of Google Play Gift Cards will make it easier to enjoy your favourite movies, books, magazines, apps, and games across all your devices.

Posted by Saurabh Agarwal, Head of Retail Partnerships - Google Play, India

September 9, 2015

Doodle 4 Google 2015: Your Doodle on the Google homepage!

Ever noticed how Google has fun with its logo? We often redesign our logo in the form of a “Doodle” to celebrate achievements and events. It’s that time of the year again when we get the children across the country to create their version of our Google Doodle. The winning Doodle will be showcased on Google India’s Homepage on Children’s Day, 14th November 2015.

Doodle 4 Google is meant to inspire kids to think and dream big. Our theme this year, is all about curiosity, possibility and imagination. With the launch of the 7th Annual Doodle 4 Google Contest, we invite bright young minds of India to send in their Doodles on the theme ‘If I could create something for India, it would be…”. They need to put on their thinking hats, get out their paintbrushes and get creative with the Google logo. We are very excited to see the outcome of the theme this year.

The contest is open for all students from Class 1st to 10th. While we will reach out to the set of schools who have been partnering with us over the years, we will also be visiting non-profits who work with children and encourage participation from them. We will host a series of experiential art sessions with these kids across multiple cities and hope to create a fun and memorable experience for them.

In the past years, we have asked young doodlers across India to make doodles on the themes ranging from  - ’A place in India I wish to visit’ to ‘My dream for India’. We received some great entries with the students showcasing cultural richness of Assam to their vision for smart cities in India. Vaidehi Reddy from Army Public School, Pune  made this winning doodle last year:

Doodle 4 Google 2014 winner

For the finalists this year, we will be hosting “A Day at Google” where these 12 budding artists will get to spend a day in the Google office and get to experience the best of Google in terms of technology ranging from Virtual Reality to fun coding activities. They will also get a first hand feel of the Google culture and get a sneak peek into the life in a day at Google.

Participating in Doodle4Google 2015 is simple! Just visit www.google.co.in/doodle4google, download the form, doodle and submit it. We have created a Google logo template to make it easier. To make things even simpler, for the first time we will also be taking entries in the form of pictures, in addition to high resolution scanned copies. Please make sure the entries reach us by October 13, 2015.

Posted by Sandeep Menon, Director of Marketing, Google India

September 7, 2015

Your favourite apps and games with prices starting at 10 Rupees

We recently lowered the minimum purchase price for apps and games sold on Google Play in India, from Rs. 50 to Rs. 10. Developers from India and around the world have decided to reprice their apps for Indian users. Now, you can find many of your favourite apps and games starting from only Rs. 10.

You can get apps like Facetune, or games like Fruit Ninja, for just Rs.10.  If you’re a cricket fan, you can find special In-App-Products at Rs.10 in games like Stick Cricket and Real Cricket, and even Talking Tom allows you to buy goodies for as low as Rs.20!

Keep an eye out for apps and games at this new price point by visiting our featured games and apps collections.

We hope this lower price point makes it easier for people in India to get access to the apps and games they love at a great price.

Posted by Alistair Pott, Product Manager, Google Play