Google Announces 2G Optimised Play Store, YouTube Go, and More for India

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 27 Sep 2016

At its ‘Google for India’ event in New Delhi, Google today announced that it will be rolling out a more data efficient version of the Google Play Store for 2G networks, YouTube Go, and localised version of Allo and Duo.

Besides being more data efficient and working reliably over 2G networks, the updated Play Store from Google will also feature the ability to automatically start a download over Wi-Fi. This way users can browse the Play Store on 2G network, but only download heavy apps and games when their phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Google Allo and Duo get local

Google also announced at the event that it will be adding Hindi support to Allo before the end of this year. Google Assistant already has limited support for Hindi and Hinglish.

As for Duo, Google notes that after the United States, the app is most used in India. The video calling app has managed to garner fans in India likely because of how well it works over spotty mobile data and Wi-Fi networks.

YouTube Go

Google already allows users in India to download videos from YouTube for offline viewing. Dubbed Smart offline, the feature can be set up to download videos during night time or when an operator offers unlimited nighttime data.

YouTube Go

With YouTube Go, Google is now taking things to the next level. The new app will allow users to easily download videos from YouTube for offline viewing. Users will have the option to download videos in 720p or Full HD resolution, with the option of previewing them before starting the download. The app will also allow you to share videos without using data.

You can register for YouTube Go here.

Google also announced that it is expanding its free Wi-Fi service to over 100 railway stations in India by the end of this year. As of now, the free Wi-Fi service is being used by 3.2 million active users over 52 railway stations.

While Google’s Android One initiative did not do particularly well in India, the company’s other programs have helped in bringing millions of Indians online.