Google Maps introduces two-wheeler mode in India

Yolanda Curtis
December 5, 2017

The Google for India event also saw the launch of the bill payments feature on Google Tez.

Google Assistant is finally getting the third-party integration in India.

The move helps Google gain access to millions of users that are and will be using the JioPhone.

The feature will be rolled out gradually over the next few weeks to users, who will receive a notification when the feature becomes available to them. Our mission is Internet for every Indian.

Beside this, Google also launched the Android Oreo (Go Edition) and an app Google Go (for Android Oreo) in India targetting entry-level smartphones.

The Go Edition of Android will be 15% faster than the regular edition and leaves a much smaller footprint on the storage memory than the regular version, it said.

There will also be a new set of lighter Google apps, including Google Go (for search) aimed at first time smartphone users.

"There is also a new set of pre-installed Google apps, including Google Go and the Google Assistant for Android Oreo (Go edition), created to be lighter and more relevant to the unique needs of the next billion users", the search company said.

Google also unveiled special navigation apps tailored for two wheelers - people who can not keep checking the phone's display as they ride.

Google also announced "Files Go", an app that will help free up space, find files faster and share files offline on smartphones that come with less internal storage. Tez will also remind users when certain bills are due.

"More than 70 billers will be supported, including utilities and direct-to-home service providers, on Tez", Sengupta told reporters here.

Citing NPCI data, Sengupta said that in October-November period, Tez accounted for 70 per cent of transactions on BHIM UPI.

Two-wheeler mode or "Motorcycle Mode" in Google Maps has has been incorporated to help bikers in the country find the route most suitable route that use "shortcuts" not accessible to cars and trucks. "India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and the millions of motorcycle and scooter riders have different navigation needs than drivers of automobiles", said Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Next Billion Users Team at Google.

Martha Welsh, Google Maps' strategic partner development manager, said, of the decision to start in India: "It's important that we get this right". The two-wheeler mode will arrive in more countries later. The feature is specially built for India and is available in both Hindi and English. The first Jio-branded phone will come preloaded with apps such as JioCinema, JioMusic, JioTV, and JioXpressNews, along with popular instant messaging and social networking apps.

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