On Thursday Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) announced that Indian users could now access Google Assistant even without internet connectivity by just dialing a phone number. Google is letting people in emerging markets such as use the virtual assistant. India is among the company’s largest markets wand Hindi ranks second in the languages commonly used on Google Assistant.
Accommodating people who do not have access to the internet
The company indicated that the move is aimed at helping millions of Indians who do not have access to reliable internet. Smartphone penetration and internet connectivity is still a challenge in India and Google are lo0oking to attract more users to the virtual assistant platform. India has a population of around 1.3 billion people and more than half of the population still uses cheap phones with limited access to the internet.
Google unveiled the Vodafone-Idea phone Line which users can use to get fast and accurate answers from Google Assistant even when they id no access to the internet. Users can call the phone line (000 0800 9191000) at any time of the day and receive help. The call is toll-free and it is available in both Hindu and English.
You can get help on weather forecast and traffic with the service
Use cases of the service include sports scores, weather forecasts, and traffic conditions among others. The aim is to offer some of the accessibility for information available via Google search for people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. The service has some limitations because you are dialing the virtual assistant is not connected to your Google account. Therefore any actions requiring data from or access to your account will not work.
The tech giant did trial runs in the cities of Kanpur and Lucknow and now they are scaling the feature to the rest of the country. Google has been launching new features in the country in a bid to move the growing internet audience in India to its platform. They are debuting an education initiative with a learn to read app and other tools such as the flood prediction system.