Data starved Indians in remote areas can now call the Google Assistant hotline
- The call won’t be charged and the hotline is open 24/7.
- Users can also keep their default language as English on their device, but still talk to the Google Assistant in Hindi.
- Google Assistant’s Hindi capabilities will be coming to Android TVs soon.
In India, half of the population isn’t online and women are the majority of the unconnected, according to Caesar Sengupta, Google’s General Manager and Vice President of Payments and Next Billion Users.
So, Google has partnered with Vodafone Idea to bring Google Assistant to 2G users.
Rather than connecting to the Internet and consuming data, 2G device users can now call a designated number — 000 800 9191 000 — to ask the assistant any questions and get information.
The call won’t be charged and the line is open around the clock.
Google has already piloted the programme with 1000s of users in Lucknow and Kanpur. Their research showed that most 2G users asked Google Assistant to help with homework.
Not stuck with one language for Google Assistant
"Hindi is the second most used Google Assistant language after English," said Manuel Bronstein, the Vice President of Project Management for Google Assistant.
Starting today, users won’t have to choose between the two. If the default language on Android is English, users can still talk to the Google Assistant in Hindi — or any of the other 32 supported languages — by simply saying, "Google, Hindi bolo (Google, speak in Hindi)".
Google Assistant will also be available in Hindi across all Android TVs in the coming months.
The assistant's interpreter mode, which was only available on Google Home and smart displays so far, will also be expanding its application to Android, Android Go and KaiOS smartphones.
It allows two people to converse in two different languages by serving as the middleman to translate.
Google is adapting its technology for India and its many languages
Google Pay for Business and Google Spot launched to digitise small business owners