Tag Archives: Next Billion Users

A more accessible internet for Indians

Rama Devi has taught more than a thousand women how to use the internet in her role as a saathi—now she’s helping farmers become more productive. Amita Raghu has used digital tools to grow Krishne Tassels, her traditional saree tassel business, and trained 700 women in the art of tassel-making. Rajesh Jain, winner of Google’s AI Impact Challenge, has created an app that helps cotton farmers identify pests just by snapping a photo.


These are some of the more than 460 million Indians using the internet to search, create, solve problems, build businesses—and help others. They show how technology isn’t just driving economic growth in India, but creating a ripple effect of opportunity across communities. 


Continuing that momentum was the focus of this year’s Google for India event, where we shared announcements aimed at making the internet more accessible, inclusive and empowering for Indians.   


Expanding reliable Wi-Fi in India


Four years ago, we launched Google Station: a partnership with Railtel and Indian Railways to bring fast, reliable and secure WiFi to 400 train stations. We hit that milestone last May, and we’ve also expanded the program beyond train stations to include thousands of public buildings and spaces around the country.  Today we announced the next step: a partnership with BSNL to bring high-speed public WiFi to villages in Gujarat, Bihar and Maharashtra—places that haven’t had a WiFi connection before. 


We also announced an initiative to help the hundreds of millions of Indians who use 2G phones get the information they need, without requiring data or an internet connection. The Vodafone-Idea Phone Line—supported by the Google Assistant—enables Vodafone-Idea users to call a single number (000 0800 9191000) free of charge at any time, and ask for everything from sports scores, traffic conditions and weather forecasts to help with homework. The service will be available across India in English and Hindi.


Speaking India’s languages


As we improve access to the internet, we also need to make it relevant and helpful, with information Indians need in the languages they speak.  


For many Indians, searching by voice rather than text is their first choice. Two years ago, we introduced voice search in nine Indian languages on Google Assistant.  Hindi is now the second-most used Assistant language globally after English. And from today, you can simply say, "Hey Google, talk to me in Hindi” (or the Indian language of your choice) to start using the Assistant, without needing to dig around in settings.


We’re also adding more Indian languages to the Google apps Indians use, including Discover, Lens and Bolo (an AI-powered teaching app that’s already helped 700,000 young Indians learn to read).   


Lens


Building platforms for economic opportunity

One of the biggest factors in India’s booming internet economy has been the rise of digital payments—from 17 million transactions in August 2017 to more than 900 million last month.

We launched Google Pay to support this growth, giving Indians a fast, safe and reliable way of making and receiving payments.  It’s now used by millions of people to complete transactions with hundreds of thousands of offline and online merchants. But we think there’s an even bigger role for Google Pay as a tool to support small businesses. 

Starting today, we’re introducing the Spot platform: a way for businesses to create experiences and engage their customers within the Google Pay app.  Popular services like UrbanClap, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, RedBus, Eat.Fit and Oven Story are already on board through our early access program, and we’re excited to see how other organizations use Spot to make life easier and more convenient for the Indians who rely on them. 

We’re deepening our support for small businesses through a new app called Google Pay for Business: a free and easy way for small merchants and storefronts to enable digital payments without the hassle of time-consuming verification process.  And we’re stepping up our support for job seekers too - introducing a Spot on Google Pay to help people find entry level positions that aren’t always easily discoverable online. We’ll be partnering with the National Skill Development Corporation to make sure Skill India students can take advantage of it. 

Spot on Google Pay

Merchants can use Spot on Google Pay to provide a better customer experience. 

These are just some of our efforts to help more Indians share in the benefits of the internet economy, and we’re looking forward to continuing to contribute to India’s extraordinary progress and growth. 

How m.Paani seeks to boost 60 million Indian retailers

There are more than 60 million family-owned local businesses in India, that drive more than 90 percent of retail in the country. They also account for more than 40 percent of local employment.  Until recently, these retailers have enjoyed a consistent customer base for generations with little competition. Now, a billion Indians are coming online and there is a new digitally-driven Indian consumer to serve. With competition from new formats from e-commerce to big box stores, local retailers are presented with a new set of challenges that could put many of them out of business and leave a large portion of the population unemployed. 

Akanksha Hazari Ericson is using technology to provide a solution. The vast majority of local merchants in India are not digitized in any way. Akanksha’s startup, m.Paani, is empowering them with the tools to survive and thrive. The startup is currently working in India, and eventually plans to expand across other emerging markets. m.Paani was recently part of Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator, a program that supports startups with access to Google technology, mentorship, and network. 

From running seven acceleration programs around the world and supporting 341 startup founders, Launchpad has seen firsthand how global entrepreneurs are using technology and innovation to solve the world’s biggest problems. As part of our “Ideas to Reality” spotlight series, we caught up with Akanksha to talk about her journey in starting m.Paani and where she sees the company going over the next few years.

When did you realize your mission to help local retailers? 

I got the entrepreneurial bug when I successfully built and grew my first venture at 21. I then decided that my next business would be built in India, contributing to the country’s economic development, and eventually other emerging markets as well. In 2009, I returned to India after completing my masters at Cambridge to work in the intersection of tech and agriculture. I spent a year living in villages across the country, looking at how we can use technology to increase farmers’ incomes. This is when I also fell in love with the local businesses with which I interacted, and realized the critical role they play in our economy. The beginnings of m.Paani were born.

What is the first step you take when you turn your idea into a reality?

Understand and build a relationship with my customer. I moved to Mumbai, a city in which I had never lived and knew no one, with a presentation and a dream. Walking the local markets every day, I signed up and sold our product to our first 50 retailers and a few hundred consumers myself. I strongly believe that if you don’t know your customer directly and can’t sell your vision, solution or service to them at the beginning, then you are in no position to ask anyone else to do so.

Are there Google products you are using and would recommend to other startup founders?

Yes, three core products help us run our business. First, we’re hosted on Google Cloud. Next, we’re using Firebase for event tracking, testing and marketing. We love the flexibility that Firebase gives us to keep being nimble. Finally, we use Google Analytics, which is an absolute must for any business and a pivotal part of each day.

Tell us more about your experience in Launchpad Accelerator. 

If you have to learn, you might as well learn from the best. Launchpad has given us great insights, especially in machine learning. The one-to-one mentorship session with Peter Norvig, Google’s machine learning director, was a standout moment for our team. The entire experience was truly enriching and would recommend it to any entrepreneurs.

What advice do you have for future entrepreneurs?

Find a very very big, meaningful problem to solve. Something that has a deeper purpose for you, and makes our world a better place. It is more important than ever now that we all look to solve real problems in the world, from sustainability to economic empowerment. Don’t expect it to be glamorous—at all.  Expect it to be unfathomably hard, and expect yourself to be more tenacious and resilient than you have ever been. But trust me, because it is purpose-driven you will stay motivated, and if you stick with it until its solved, you will change the world. 

What is the most inspiring part of your work?

Our retailers. These are family businesses built over generations, in some cases. My favorite part of my job is meeting our customers and learning from them. The most meaningful part of any day is hearing and seeing first hand our positive impact on empowering, transforming and growing a local business. This, more than anything else, is what gets me and our whole team up and excited every morning. 

By day and by night: video call, no matter the lighting

To make sure we’re constantly improving Google Duo, we visit people from around the world to understand the challenges they face in video calling their loved ones. There was one particular condition we saw people consistently struggle with across cultures and environments: poor lighting.

In many places, electric lighting is a significant challenge, preventing people from connecting face to face. People often light their homes with a single bulb when electricity is expensive, and even then, power outages remain common in many areas, leaving people in the dark during the evening when many video calls with family and friends happen. Even when electricity is not an issue, many people just want to video call to say good night right before bed, keep each other company as they watch TV together or enjoy a quick chat while they’re outside in the evening. 

These challenges are the reasons why we are bringing low light mode to Duo. Low light mode helps people connect with each other face to face, even when the lighting conditions aren’t optimal. The video call will adjust so people in the frame are more visible when the phone detects dim lighting. Low light mode will start rolling out globally to iOS and Android users this week.

Google Duo low light

With low light mode on Duo, just start a video call and you can toggle the feature on or off as part of your in-call controls. 


Now, there will be no more leaving each other in the dark.

How local accelerators are powering global startups

At Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator, we’re focused on working with the best startups from around the world and sharing what Google does best to help startups grow. One way we reach the world's best startups is through our Powered by Launchpad program, where we bring the best of Google—its people, network, research and advanced technologies—to top local startup acceleration programs in key locations globally. 

Our partners are in the world’s fastest growing economies, and tend to predict technology trends in their regions. They bring together universities, investors, policy makers and top entrepreneurs to help local small businesses thrive. Here are just a few examples of our local launchpad partners around the world. 

Raising up founders in Serbia with Startit

Serbian entrepreneurs from Belgrade go through a design thinking session at Startit.

Serbian entrepreneurs from Belgrade go through a design thinking session at Startit.

Startit, based in Belgrade, Serbia, is on a mission to give new life to the Serbian economy. Serbia, like many countries in Southeast Europe, has faced economic stagnation for decades, with much of its best local tech talent moving abroad in search of better opportunities. 

To battle this issue, Startit developed a plan: work together with Launchpad to create an entrepreneurship curriculum and raise up a new generation of startup founders. 

“We have world-class engineers in Serbia, but if we taught them how to make a business around the amazing technology, it would have a meaningful impact on their careers, their families and our entire economy,” says Vukasin Stojkov, Startit’s founder. 

Startit created a semester-long course for more than 20 students at Belgrade’s Computer Science College (RAF). During the program, these students learned about key startup concepts and met with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Serbia. 

Computer science student Milica Kostic came to the course with a few startup ideas. By the end, she was already taking action with two of her friends from the group. “We have an idea to help deaf people by making it easier for them to communicate with people who are not familiar with sign language,” Milica says. “The course showed us that it is possible to make it, and I really believe that I can do the same.”

Rethinking how Indonesians eat with Wayhoo and Digitaraya 

Wayhoo’s founder and CEO, Peter Shearer, poses with a local warteg owner.

Wayhoo’s founder and CEO, Peter Shearer, poses with a local warteg owner.

Digitaraya, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, partnered with Launchpad last year to create an accelerator focused on early-stage startups.  Since then, Digitaraya has graduated more than 30 startups. One of their graduates is Wahyoo, which is modernizing food kiosks, or “wartegs” as they are known in Indonesia, by digitizing small businesses and enabling them to run faster.

Wahyoo saw that warteg entrepreneurs faced problems such as poor time management, low awareness of hygiene and unorganized financial records. “Equipping wartegs with digital tools will level the playing field and bring forward significant growth to this small industry,” says Peter Shearer, CEO of Wayhoo. “We can help food kiosks become more efficient in ordering supplies and developing higher sanitation standards, while also allowing owners to accept mobile payments.” 

Digitaraya is connecting Wahyoo with relevant partners and industry leaders. Launchpad is providing Wahyoo with technical resources and access to expert mentors. 

Accessibility through AI in Ecuador with Talov and IMPAQTO

Founders take part in a workshop during IMPAQTO Labs’ program.

Founders take part in a workshop during IMPAQTO Labs’ program.

Launchpad partnered with IMPAQTO, a leading impact accelerator in Ecuador, in late 2018 to help local entrepreneurs bring social, environmental and economic progress to Latin America. 


One of IMPAQTO's portfolio companies, Talov, uses artificial intelligence to help people with auditory and visual disabilities more easily interact with the world via speech-to-text and sign language recognition technology. 


After the first mentorship sessions with IMPAQTO Lab, the Talov team saw that metrics like the number of app downloads were not actually strong indicators of customer satisfaction. The team left the lab with a new focus: identify metrics that could measure how Talov has improved the lives of its users. 


“We now want to use the inclusion of people with auditory and visual disabilities in the labor force as an indicator of development,” says Hugo Jacome, one of Talov’s founders. “We need these metrics to know if our platforms are truly changing the lives of our users.”


Google for Chile: Supporting development through tech

Over the last decade, Chile has become known as one of the most connected countries in Latin America, and its population has been an early adopter of new technologies. But the country still has important challenges and opportunities to connect and bring all Chileans closer to technology that can make both their work and home lives easier.

Today we hosted our first Google for Chile, with a group of more than 300 people in Santiago. There, we discussed our ongoing commitment to the digital growth of Chile and Latin America, improving connectivity and creating a safer public cloud. 

Connecting Chile's entrepreneurial force

In Chile and around the world, small and medium businesses increasingly need to be online in order to grow. Google My Business has become one of the best allies for entrepreneurs who want to see their businesses "on the map" and for their customers to find them. The number of verified companies on the platform in Chile has grown by 76% over the past year.

More efficient cities, in the cloud

In Chile, almost 50 percent of drivers use Waze to drive around all types of streets. That means users can serve as a kind of “sensor” in addition to stationary ones like radar and cameras, and cities can learn a lot from their drivers. Now, all the information from the Waze for Cities program will be stored for free for its members on Google Cloud, making it even easier for cities to see movement patterns and measure the effects of interventions. Currently, more than 190 partners across Latin America have joined the program.  

Partners like the Subsecretaría de Transportes de Chile have been using Waze data to improve traffic. They monitor more than 400 road segments to determine the periods with the most traffic. This information is used to program traffic lights, and whenever patterns change (like when traffic piles up or there’s an accident on the road), they can adapt the lights accordingly. 

Keeping Chilean children, teachers and parents safe online

In 2018, we launched Be Internet Awesome, which teaches children to be safe explorers of the online world. In Chile, we have been working with the Education Ministry so teachers and administrators can use our program’s tools. In the coming weeks, teachers using Be Internet Awesome will be able to find a new module—in Spanish—to teach students to think critically about the information they consume online, avoiding misinformation. 

Privacy for all 

New privacy tools are now officially available in Chile. People can now use Android phones as security keys, adding an extra layer of protection to their information. They can also check how data is being used in Maps, Search and the Assistant, by accessing the apps menu and choosing the option “Your data in …” There, you can review and delete your location activity in Maps or your search activity in Search. Soon, the same feature will be accessible on YouTube.

Auto-delete controls for Web and Apps Activity are also now available globally, allowing people to easily manage the amount of time their data is saved. Choose a limit—3 or 18 months—and anything older than that will be automatically deleted on an ongoing basis.

The cloud in Quilicura

The first and only Google data center in Latin America is located in Chile, in the city of Quilicura. Announced in 2012, the data center allows us to provide support to and guarantee the operation of all of our products, not just for Chile but for all of Latin America. 

In September 2018, we announced the expansion of our data center, with an additional investment of US$140 million that will triple the size of the initial structure. And last April we announced the arrival of Curie on the coasts of the Valparaiso Region: Curie is the first submarine fiber optic cable to reach Chile in about 20 years.

How AI is transforming industries in Chile 

At Google, we use artificial intelligence to make our products more useful, from email that is spam-free and easier to write to a digital assistant that understands you when you ask it questions.

Much of the progress made with AI is based on our open source machine learning platform, TensorFlow. In Chile, machine learning is opening up new opportunities in several industries like food, construction and astronomy. Local technology company Odd Industries found potential in using AI with camera footage in the construction sector, letting data reveal what humans can’t see. Artificial intelligence processes images from construction sites and converts them into concrete data, allowing companies to build responsibly and intelligently. 

Working together with industry associations, academic institutions, government officials and our users, I’m excited to find new ways to use technology to help everyone succeed. 

100 million people free up phone space with the Files app

Every month, 100 million people around the world use the Files app to free up space and manage the content on their phones. Files was built for peoplewith low phone storage, many of whom live in places like India, Nigeria and Brazil and often run out of space on a daily basis. However, in the past two years, we’ve seen people everywhere use Files. The app reduces the stress of managing stuff on your phone and helps you get things done faster—whether that means finding your favorite photo, sharing files without using data, or removing old files to make your phone feel like new.


Globally, Files frees up 8 GB of space every second—that’s equivalent to 2,200 photos!


Freeing up space

Forwarded messages can cause duplicate files and memes to quickly eat up phone storage. Around the world, Files helps people delete more than 300 duplicates and 150 memes every second—the app is able to quickly find and suggest files for removal using Google’s mobile vision technology


Here are two new features that make Files even more helpful:

  • Preserve your battery and reduce eye strain with a new all-black dark theme option.

Files all-black dark theme option

Switch to dark theme to preserve battery life and reduce eye strain

  • Listen to music or watch videos offline with new controls like Skip, Rewind or Fast-forward.

Files - New audio player features give you more control

New audio player features give you more control


These features will be available to everyone over the next few days. Get the app at g.co/getfiles to free up space, and make your phone feel like new.

Babymigo: technology for Africa’s new parents

With infant mortality rates on the rise in Nigeria, mostly due to a lack of doctors in rural areas, entrepreneur Adeloye Olanrewaju wanted to see if he could use tech to figure out a solution. This led him to start Babymigo, an online community that connects expecting and new mothers to resources, doctors, experts and other services

Babymigo was recently part of Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator in Nigeria, a three-month program that provides mentorship and support to early-stage startups. With seven acceleration programs and 338 startup alumni, we at Launchpad have seen firsthand how global entrepreneurs are using technology and startup innovation to solve the world’s biggest problems. 

In a new spotlight series called “Ideas to Reality,” we aim to share the stories of these founders and their startups through videos and written case studies. In our first installment, we talk to Adeloye about why he started Babymigo, and where he hopes it will be in the next few years.

Adeloye Olanrewaju of Babymigo

Adeloye at a Google Developers Launchpad event.

When did you first come up with the idea for Babymigo?

My aunt lost her baby due to complications arising from childbirth. Those complications could have been avoided if she had access to the right healthcare information. Unfortunately, her story is not a unique one. 

Today in Nigeria, more than 7 million babies are born every year, but the country still has the third highest infant mortality rate in the world. To make matters worse, nearly 60,000 mothers lose their lives each year due to complications arising from childbirth. 

When I started my career working at a maternity clinic, I saw that the biggest problem mothers faced was poor access to verified health care professionals and healthcare information. I wanted to help and felt tech was my way to do it.  So I quit my job and started Babymigo, to use technology to solve these challenges. 

How does Babymigo use tech to combat infant mortality? 

We are the first and only platform that increases access to informed health decisions via SMS, an  app and a web portal. Our goal is to help expecting mothers get their questions answered by hyperlocal medical and child care experts. Today, our services have reached more than 100,000 users. We are looking to reach 1 million mothers by the end of 2020. 

What steps did you take to make bring your idea to life? 

I first found as many users as I could, and then conducted extensive research to better understand the problems they faced and what solutions they really needed. This saved us valuable time, allowing us to focus on the most important features our users wanted.

The Google Launchpad Accelerator was a big opportunity to diagnose our company. With the help of experts and experienced mentors, we were able to increase user growth and retention by about 20%. Being a part of Launchpad also brought us media exposure and significant investor interest. With Google supporting us, we saw a dramatic rise in the confidence of our investors and clients. 

Google products are at the center of building our platform. Through Firebase Cloud Messaging, we send notification messages to drive user retention.  We also use Google Analytics to better understand our customers, using its insights to take action, such as improving our website. 

Any advice for future entrepreneurs? 

Building a tech startup is a rollercoaster, so developing a strong mental resilience is key. Nothing can replace persistence.  Surround yourself with thinkers who push you. At Launchpad I had the chance to be challenged by my peers at every turn. Find a network that will guide you in the same way.

Gallery Go: a fast, helpful way to organize your photos offline

Today, at Google for Nigeria we introduced Gallery Go: a photo gallery, designed to work offline, that uses machine learning to automatically organize and make your photos look their best. Gallery Go helps first time smartphone owners easily find, edit, and manage photos, without the need for access to high-speed internet or cloud backup.


Your memories, automatically organized

Gallery Go automatically organizes your photos by the people and things you take photos of, so you can easily find your favorite selfie, remember where you had the best puff puff, and keep track of important documents. You don’t have to manually label your photos and all these features run on your phone, without using your data. You can create folders to organize your photos, and Gallery Go works with SD cards, so you can easily copy them from your phone.


Gallery Go_Main GIF

 

Simple-to-use editing tools

With Gallery Go it's easy to get great looking photos in just a few taps. Use auto enhance—one of my favorite editing tools in Google Photos—for instant fixes. You can also choose from a variety of filters to get a new look, and easily rotate and crop, so your photo looks just right.


Gallery Go_editing

Light and offline by design 

Gallery Go was designed to work offline, to help you manage your photos using less data. And at just 10 MB, the app won't slow down your phone and leaves space to store more memories. 


Gallery Go is available in the Play Store for devices running Android 8.1 (Oreo) or higher. While the app is available worldwide, some features such as organizing photos by people aren’t available in all countries. For those of you who joined us at Google for Nigeria, Gallery Go will come pre-installed as the gallery app on the Itel S15 and select A55 devices beginning next month.


Google for Nigeria: making our products more helpful to more people

Today, at our third annual Google for Nigeria event, we announced new products and features to make Google more helpful to more people in Nigeria and across Africa.

Building maps that work better for Nigerians

Google Maps helps you navigate, explore and get things done. Nigeria has over 10 million motorcycles and we all know that they move differently from cars. We’re introducing a dedicated travel mode to provide directions and navigation for motorcycles in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Ghana, Rwanda, Togo and Uganda. We're also launching navigation instructions in a Nigerian voice for both motorcycle and car driving modes, so that local names and places get pronounced as they should be.

Traveling through Lagos, one of Africa’s busiest cities, is often a challenge with unpredictable factors that affect journey times. In the next few months, we’ll introduce a new directions experience for Lagos optimized for informal transit, bringing Danfo routes into Google Maps.

Danfo routes on Google Maps_Google Nigeria.png

To help make it easier to explore places in Nigeria, we’re publishing more panoramic imagery on Street View. We started with imagery of Lagos two years ago, and now there’s imagery of Abuja, Benin City, Enugu and Ibadan with almost 12 thousand kilometers of roads added.

Gallery Go: a photo gallery that works offline

With the growth of Android, more Nigerians have phones that take pictures. But not everyone has access to reliable, high-speed internet or cloud backup to quickly find a photo.

Gallery Go_Google Nigeria.png

Gallery Go is designed for people who don’t have a reliable internet connection. It brings many of the best features of Google Photos on device, to help you find, edit and manage your photos even when you’re offline.

The app keeps your photos automatically organized and make your snaps look their best with easy editing tools such as one-tap auto-enhance. The app is only 10MB to keep your phone light and fast, so that you can spend more time capturing memories.

Gallery Go is available today on Google Play for devices running Android 8.1 (Oreo) or higher and will come pre-installed as the gallery app on the Itel S15 and select A55 devices, which will be available in Nigeria soon.

Google Go: Helping you enjoy the best of the web

Google Go makes it easier to discover the best of the internet even on low-RAM smartphones or unstable network connections. Today, we're announcing some updates to make Google Go even more useful. The Discover feed is now integrated within Google Go to help you stay in the know with your interests, like the latest content on your football team, people of interest, music and news stories.

Starting next week, you can access the Assistant directly from Google Go. Using only your voice, you can ask Google to call your mum, play the latest Burna Boy video, or find you the best jollof in town. And there’s a new Nigerian voice for the Assistant too.

Google Lens and Bolo: understanding and learning made easy

Google Lens has been helping people to find out more about the world around them through their camera and photos. Now we’re launching Lens inside Google Go to help people read, translate and search the words they see simply by using their camera. You can open Lens, point it at a sign, and listen to the words read out loud. If you don’t speak the language, you can translate it into your own. Today, we’re also launching support for Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.

Bolo is a speech-based reading app that helps kids learn how to read in English. It encourages them to read out loud and then provides individual, customized feedback to help improve their reading capabilities. It’s already available in India, and today we’re bringing it to Nigeria and Ghana.

A taste of Nigeria with Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture cooked up a project, “Come Chop Bellefull: A Taste of Nigeria,” that pays tribute to Nigeria’s vibrant and diverse food culture that spans generations and geography. You can explore Nigerian regional cooking and culture through 2,000 high resolution images and 30 stories created in collaboration with The Centenary Project at the Pan-Atlantic University.

Step insideMama Ashake’s Kitchen, join the celebration ofthe New Yam Festival with Nike Davies-Okundaye and discover the secret recipe of Jazzhole ownerTundun Tejuoso’s favourite drinks.  Learn more about delicacies from Ofe Owerri toAkara, and Tuwo Masara toEdikaikong.

Supporting Nigerian musicians on YouTube

Today YouTube announced a commitment to support emerging talent in Nigeria. In the initial phase, YouTube is teaming up with Nigerian music star, Mr. Eazi and the emPawa initiative to support 10 emerging Nigerian music artists to build their craft, increase their fanbase and connect with the world through YouTube.

Launched by Mr. Eazi, emPawa Africa empowers the next generation of African artists, equipping them with the tools, knowledge, network and investment they need to become independent music entrepreneurs. So far, emPawa has supported 22 Nigerian artists to provide training to build their skills through digital platforms such as YouTube.

Every day, people in Nigeria, Africa and around the world turn to Google for help. We hope that the products and updates we're announcing today will make Google even more helpful for finding things out and getting things done. We remain committed to bringing the transformational power of technology to people everywhere.

Google for Mexico: Improving Mexicans’ lives through technology

Mexico is a diverse country in search of opportunities to accelerate development in an inclusive and equitable way. In our first Google for Mexico event this week, we presented new ways to help Mexicans achieve better employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, contribute to society through technological solutions and promote the country’s culture. 

Technology as a source of growth and opportunity

The Internet is boosting local businesses in Mexico, and Google is helping through our search and advertising tools. In 2018, website publishers, nonprofit organizations and more than 40,000 companies generated 47 billion pesos in economic impact throughout the country thanks to digital tools. To learn more about our success stories, you can visit our Economic Impact Report.

Google is helping people acquire and update the necessary skills to apply for a job or to be more effective in the work they already do. With programs like Grow with Google, we’ve trained more than 11,000 people, helping thousands of users in the development of their digital skills throughout the country. We have also launched other digital training projects like Digital Garage, Primer and Women Will, among other initiatives. 

Additionally, we announced that the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, developed by Google and hosted on Coursera, will be translated into Spanish. Google.org is also giving a  $1.1 million USD grant to the International Youth Foundation to offer scholarships to 1,000 young Mexicans, to ensure that underrepresented communities have supported and free access to the course. 

Bringing technology to everyone 

In Mexico, there are currently 74 million people online, and 18 million more are expected to join in the next two years. That's equivalent to almost 20 newly connected people per minute.

In over a year that Google Station has been in operation in Mexico, we have seen millions of people go online and get connected to more information and better opportunities. Google Station’s fast, free and open Wi-Fi is in more than 100 locations throughout the country, with more sites going live in other public places very soon.  

Google's solutions for companies help Mexico promote itself as a great place to do business. That way, society can focus less on economics and more about improving living conditions and anticipating crises before they arrive. With the launch of Android Emergency Location Service (ELS), people will be able to contact emergency services when an emergency call is placed in a supported jurisdiction, even if the user has no mobile data plan or no mobile data credit left.

Strengthening small businesses online

The role of small and medium businesses in the Mexican economy is crucial for employment growth. Currently, less than 50 percent of small and medium sized businesses in the country have digital presences, but Google's solutions can help expand businesses’ opportunities, reduce their operating costs and support them as they reach their consolidation.

Google for Mexico

Dora Velázquez, Flores de Oaxaca owner, used Google My Business to grow her business.

Google My Business is an easy, fast and secure solution for small and medium businesses to start their online business. The Smart Campaigns program can also help small business owners reach new customers with an easy advertising solution which creates ads based on the business' objectives: calls, visits to their stores or visits to their websites. 

Helping Mexicans use the power of their voices 

When we launched the Google Assistant in Mexico two years ago, our goal was to help people get things done throughout the day at home, in the car and on the go—while having a unique understanding of the culture and context. Since then, more Mexicans are turning to the Assistant for help listening to music, playing games and getting answers to questions. The number of active users of the Assistant in Mexico has grown more than eight times since the beginning of 2018. Additionally, Spanish is the third most used Assistant language globally.

Over the coming months, the Assistant will get even more helpful. Mexican users will soon be able to book a ride in Spanish with providers like Cabify, Uber, and Bolt (formerly known as Taxify), order food delivery with Rappi and even transfer money to friends or family using BBVA—with help from their voice.

Google for Mexico

Assistant users in Mexico will soon be able to book a ride in Spanish with providers like Cabify, Uber and Bolt (formerly known as Taxify).

Building smarter cities 

Since 2014, Waze has been working with cities and municipalities around the world to help improve urban mobility. What started with 10 city partners has grown to more than one thousand globally, with 24 partners here in Mexico, including the Mexico City Mobility Department, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, Jalisco, Monterrey and many others.

Now, all Waze for Cities Data partners can now store data for free via Google Cloud, while accessing best-in-class tools including BigQuery and Data Studio. Cities will be able to easily monitor traffic and transportation events, look at historical trends, assess the before and after effects of interventions and more. 

Municipalities like Querétaro are already leveraging Waze data to make mobility improvements. They recently looked at traffic patterns during peak hours and determined when commercial trucks should enter the city and where they should park. They even re-zoned certain parts of the city. 

A rich heritage, preserved and shared with the world

Mexico’s traditions are colorful and moving, a true expression of the identity of its people. To showcase this cultural heritage, Google Arts & Culture has dedicated a special initiative to capture and share Mexico with the world.

Google for Mexico

This is the first time the Soumaya Museum is digitally presenting its research on the Grana Cochinilla.


Recently, we partnered with one of the most visited museums in the world: the Soumaya Museum. For the first time, it will be possible to visit the museum and view its collection from any device from anywhere in the world. The project showcases more than 700 items encompassing over 30 centuries of art, including one of the world’s largest Auguste Rodin’s collections outside of France. 

The Soumaya Museum has digitized 31 paintings in extremely high resolution using the Art Camera, allowing the user to see details that are not visible with the naked eye. The museum is virtually opening its doors with the use of Museum View technology, which allows anyone, anywhere to admire the architecture of Fernando Romero, at the heart of a new commercial district in Mexico City. 

Google for Mexico

Soumaya Museum, Carlos Slim Foundation, Gallery 6.

Access to information is essential for the growth of countries. At Google, we believe that technology is the fuel to empower Mexico, providing smart solutions for millions of people.