Author Archives: A Googler

How AI is making information more useful

Today, there’s more information accessible at people’s fingertips than at any point in human history. And advances in artificial intelligence will radically transform the way we use that information, with the ability to uncover new insights that can help us both in our daily lives and in the ways we are able to tackle complex global challenges.

At our Search On livestream event today, we shared how we’re bringing the latest in AI to Google’s products, giving people new ways to search and explore information in more natural and intuitive ways.

Making multimodal search possible with MUM

Earlier this year at Google I/O, we announced we’ve reached a critical milestone for understanding information with Multitask Unified Model, or MUM for short.

We’ve been experimenting with using MUM’s capabilities to make our products more helpful and enable entirely new ways to search. Today, we’re sharing an early look at what will be possible with MUM. 

In the coming months, we’ll introduce a new way to search visually, with the ability to ask questions about what you see. Here are a couple of examples of what will be possible with MUM.

With this new capability, you can tap on the Lens icon when you’re looking at a picture of a shirt, and ask Google to find you the same pattern — but on another article of clothing, like socks. This helps when you’re looking for something that might be difficult to describe accurately with words alone. You could type “white floral Victorian socks,” but you might not find the exact pattern you’re looking for. By combining images and text into a single query, we’re making it easier to search visually and express your questions in more natural ways. 

Some questions are even trickier: Your bike has a broken thingamajig, and you need some guidance on how to fix it. Instead of poring over catalogs of parts and then looking for a tutorial, the point-and-ask mode of searching will make it easier to find the exact moment in a video that can help.

Helping you explore with a redesigned Search page

We’re also announcing how we’re applying AI advances like MUM to redesign Google Search. These new features are the latest steps we’re taking to make searching more natural and intuitive.

First, we’re making it easier to explore and understand new topics with “Things to know.” Let’s say you want to decorate your apartment, and you’re interested in learning more about creating acrylic paintings.

If you search for “acrylic painting,” Google understands how people typically explore this topic, and shows the aspects people are likely to look at first. For example, we can identify more than 350 topics related to acrylic painting, and help you find the right path to take.

We’ll be launching this feature in the coming months. In the future, MUM will unlock deeper insights you might not have known to search for — like “how to make acrylic paintings with household items” — and connect you with content on the web that you wouldn’t have otherwise found.

Second, to help you further explore ideas, we’re making it easy to zoom in and out of a topic with new features to refine and broaden searches. 

In this case, you can learn more about specific techniques, like puddle pouring, or art classes you can take. You can also broaden your search to see other related topics, like other painting methods and famous painters. These features will launch in the coming months.

Third, we’re making it easier to find visual inspiration with a newly designed, browsable results page. If puddle pouring caught your eye, just search for “pour painting ideas" to see a visually rich page full of ideas from across the web, with articles, images, videos and more that you can easily scroll through. 

This new visual results page is designed for searches that are looking for inspiration, like “Halloween decorating ideas” or “indoor vertical garden ideas,” and you can try it today.

Get more from videos

We already use advanced AI systems to identify key moments in videos, like the winning shot in a basketball game, or steps in a recipe. Today, we’re taking this a step further, introducing a new experience that identifies related topics in a video, with links to easily dig deeper and learn more. 

Using MUM, we can even show related topics that aren’t explicitly mentioned in the video, based on our advanced understanding of information in the video. In this example, while the video doesn’t say the words “macaroni penguin’s life story,” our systems understand that topics contained in the video relate to this topic, like how macaroni penguins find their family members and navigate predators. The first version of this feature will roll out in the coming weeks, and we’ll add more visual enhancements in the coming months.

Across all these MUM experiences, we look forward to helping people discover more web pages, videos, images and ideas that they may not have come across or otherwise searched for. 

A more helpful Google

The updates we’re announcing today don’t end with MUM, though. We’re also making it easier to shop from the widest range of merchants, big and small, no matter what you’re looking for. And we’re helping people better evaluate the credibility of information they find online. Plus, for the moments that matter most, we’re finding new ways to help people get access to information and insights. 

All this work not only helps people around the world, but creators, publishers and businesses as well.  Every day, we send visitors to well over 100 million different websites, and every month, Google connects people with more than 120 million businesses that don't have websites, by enabling phone calls, driving directions and local foot traffic.

As we continue to build more useful products and push the boundaries of what it means to search, we look forward to helping people find the answers they’re looking for, and inspiring more questions along the way.

Posted by Prabhakar Raghavan, Senior Vice President

Managing harmful vaccine content on YouTube

Crafting policy around medical misinformation comes charged with inherent challenges and tradeoffs. Scientific understanding evolves as new research emerges, and firsthand, personal experience regularly plays a powerful role in online discourse. Vaccines in particular have been a source of fierce debate over the years, despite consistent guidance from health authorities about their effectiveness. Today, we're expanding our medical misinformation policies on YouTube with new guidelines on currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and the WHO.

Our Community Guidelines already prohibit certain types of medical misinformation. We've long removed content that promotes harmful remedies, such as saying drinking turpentine can cure diseases. At the onset of COVID-19, we built on these policies when the pandemic hit, and worked with experts to develop 10 new policies around COVID-19 and medical misinformation. Since last year, we’ve removed over 130,000 videos for violating our COVID-19 vaccine policies.

Throughout this work, we learned important lessons about how to design and enforce nuanced medical misinformation policies at scale. Working closely with health authorities, we looked to balance our commitment to an open platform with the need to remove egregious harmful content. We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we're now at a point where it's more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines. 

Specifically, content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines will be removed. This would include content that falsely says that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can track those who receive them. Our policies not only cover specific routine immunizations like for measles or Hepatitis B, but also apply to general statements about vaccines.

As with our COVID guidelines, we consulted with local and international health organizations and experts in developing these policies. For example, our new guidance on vaccine side effects maps to public vaccine resources provided by health authorities and backed by medical consensus. These policy changes will go into effect today, and as with any significant update, it will take time for our systems to fully ramp up enforcement. 

There are important exceptions to our new guidelines. Given the importance of public discussion and debate to the scientific process, we will continue to allow content about vaccine policies, new vaccine trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures on YouTube. Personal testimonials relating to vaccines will also be allowed, so long as the video doesn't violate other Community Guidelines, or the channel doesn't show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy. 

All of this complements our ongoing work to raise up authoritative health information on our platform and connect people with credible, quality health content and sources.

Today’s policy update is an important step to address vaccine and health misinformation on our platform, and we’ll continue to invest across the board in the policies and products that bring high quality information to our viewers and the entire YouTube community.

Posted by The YouTube Team

Inviting applications for Google for Startups Accelerator India Class 6

Indian Startups continue to push the bar on taking on complex challenges and building innovative solutions to drive real life impact. And we at Google see this as a real privilege to partner with them in this journey and help them to succeed at scale. We do this under our flagship program Google for Startups Accelerator (GFSA) India.  In August, we had announced our 5th class with 16 Seed to Series B startups from 8 different cities across India covering verticals like HealthTech, FinTech, Content with 43% representation by women founders.  The cohort’s program is now underway and the startups are busy addressing their technical, product and business challenges through the program, with our mentors and Google teams in active engagement with the founders and their teams.

As the 16 startups in class 5 continue their journey with the program, we are excited to now invite applications for Class 6 of Google for Startups Accelerator India

Under the program, we continue to focus on supporting startups that are innovating to solve meaningful problems focused on India and the world. As we grow the program with Class 6, we are focusing on supporting solutions that drive scalable impact, scale globally and are built on innovative approaches using AI/ML and data in healthcare, education, finance, enterprise & other spaces such as agritech, media & entertainment, gaming. 

For the 6th batch, our Applications are open until 20 October 2021, and we will select 15-20 startups that are building India-first products for the world to join. The Accelerator will continue to run as a fully digital program through the COVID season.

Startups that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • AI/ML or data startups in but not limited to healthcare, education, finance, media & entertainment, gaming and enterprise 

  • SaaS startups

  • Startups based in India

  • Preferably in the Seed to Series A/B stages

We will host a weekly virtual open forum every Friday, 4 to 5 PM, during the application phase. Startups interested to know more about the Accelerator program can join to get their questions answered. Register here to get invited to one of the sessions.

What can shortlisted Startups expect from the program: 

The selected startups will receive mentorship and support around AI/ML, Cloud, UX, Android, Web, Product Strategy and Growth. In addition to mentorship and technical project support, the accelerator provides deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition, and founders’ leadership development. 

The program also offers access to a global network of startups and mentors/experts. As part of this program, founders outline the top challenges their startups are facing and then match them with relevant experts from Google and the industry to solve those challenges.

We are committed to bring the best of Google to Indian startups and till date we have supported 96 startups helping them to shape their product/company and partnering them in their journey to build very large and successful companies. And we can’t wait to start the next batch of startups. 

Posted by Farish CV, Program Manager, Google for Startups Accelerator, India

Introducing an accelerator program for digital news startups, and support for more Indian languages in Google News Showcase

Access to trustworthy information is vital for all components of a thriving democracy. Through the years, we have kept up consistent efforts to help with continued access to quality journalism, contributing to the sustainability of news organizations, supporting emerging news business models and enabling newsrooms to engage their readers in new ways through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Today we’re building on this commitment with a new Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab program for aspiring news entrepreneurs from all across India.

Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab India - applications open 

Applications open today for GNI Startups Lab -- a four-month program that seeks to help independent local or single-subject journalism organizations find a pathway to financial and operational sustainability through intensive coaching, skills training and other support.

Created in partnership with the global innovation lab Echos and DIGIPUB News India Foundation, the GNI Startups Lab India program will support high-quality reporting for local and underserved communities. We welcome applications from news startups publishing in all Indian languages.

The 16-week program is tailored to the needs of startup newsrooms in India and participants will benefit from Echos' experience in supporting media startups and from DIGIPUB's network and community with workshops and coaching.

"Digipub is excited to partner with Google News Initiative Startups Lab to make the digital media ecosystem robust and sustainable. Digital news media is the future of news in India and collaborations like these will ensure that new entrants receive the support they deserve,"  Dhanya Rajendran, Chairperson of Digipub News India Foundation commented. 

Applications are open until 18 October 2021 and 10 independent digital news publishers will be selected to participate in the first cohort in India. To learn more and apply, click here

Supporting more Indian languages with Google News Showcase

In May, we announced the expansion of Google News Showcase, our online experience and licensing program to support news organizations and readers, to India. Today, we are pleased to add support for four new languages  - Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu -  in addition to English and Hindi in dedicated News Showcase panels in Google News and on Discover, to help more readers get access to quality news in their own languages. With the addition of these new languages and new partners today, we now have onboarded more than 50 partners representing more than 70 publications. 

We continue to work with publishers of all kinds -- from digital natives to regional media in India to help them to engage with readers and deliver trusted information across our platforms. 

We are delighted to partner with the Indian news industry and support new digital formats and innovations to build a sustainable, independent and diverse news ecosystem.

Posted by Kate Beddoe, Director of News Partnerships, Google Asia Pacific 

Empowering more women entrepreneurs in India

Despite the many strides in diversity and inclusion efforts in different industries in India and the world, we remain at some distance from true and proportionate representation of women in the workforce - be it in leadership, entrepreneurship or otherwise. 

This is a gap that we, at Google, are committed to closing through various efforts within Google and beyond, across all the communities we support. Our ongoing efforts to support women entrepreneurs are one of these.

2020 has brought back a sharp focus on health-tech and two founders selected from India for Women Founders Academy - Zealth-AI’s Monika Mehta and BrainSightAI’s Laina Emmanuel - are both tackling different challenges within healthcare. 

The Women Founders Academy, which is a twelve week program, offers the founders training to sharpen their leadership skills, build strong teams and address their unique growth needs. They will take part in workshops, connect with a community of Google advisors, venture capitalists and business executives and receive mentoring from dedicated subject matter experts. This year’s Women Founders come from 5 countries in Asia Pacific – India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Singapore. 

Getting to know the Indian women founders in the latest cohort:

In March 2019, Monika lost a close family member to an illness. The tragedy made her realize that our healthcare system relies heavily on patients being able to appreciate the severity of symptoms and taking swift action when necessary. Monika started Zealth-AI in July 2020 with the goal of creating a digital hospital-at-home solution that ensures timely interventions and better outcomes. 

In another part of the country, Laina’s BrainSightAI is building a neuroinformatics platform that uses technology to help answer questions about neuro-oncological and neuro-psychiatric disorders.

Laina says she has always been driven by complicated problems, conceptual thinking and like Monika, the dream of making a real impact. The work on operating system development and international health issues such as reducing maternal mortality has been a great way to combine Laina’s passions. She’s committed to continuing her hard work to make BrainSightAI a sustainable vehicle for change for more people. 

Along with Laina, Monika is inspired by the opportunity to connect with fellow women entrepreneurs and learning from a diverse pool of peers, mentors and experts through the Women Founders Academy program.

Posted by Team Google for Startups, India

Partnering with the financial ecosystem with Google Pay

In every geography where Google Pay is present, our stance is consistently one of partnering with the existing financial services and banking systems to help scale and enable frictionless delivery of financial products and services and contribute to the goal of financial inclusion. 

This vision has been consistent since our launch in India and several of our offerings are built on top of NPCI’s pioneering UPI payment network and infrastructure, which has grown over 190X in the last 4 years, to processing over INR 6 trillion in value today. 

At its core, Google Pay is a simple and secure mobile app for sending and receiving money, providing the functionality of a seamless payment experience, which is critical for consumers and merchants. Over the years, we have invested in efforts to bring the convenience of UPI to both online and offline merchants. 

Furthering that objective, in 2019, we had announced the launch of the Spot Platform on Google Pay, a surface for merchants of all types - offline or digital native, small or large, across use cases - to find payment-ready users. 

With more and more users embracing Google Pay in India, our Spot platform works as an additional discovery channel for many businesses to build and offer innovative new experiences to users to drive adoption of their services. The use cases span across ticket purchase, food ordering, paying for essential services like utility bills, shopping and getting access to various financial products. 

Today we have close to 400 merchant Spots on Google Pay, and in this journey, we have seen that financial product offerings perform especially well, with offerings from Spot experiences delivered by financial services players like CashE, Groww, 5paisa, Zest Money etc. seeing significant growth and engagement from users on Google Pay. This engagement underscores that payments platforms are a great surface to deliver financial services to users across the country. 

That being said, many of these Spot experiences especially in the financial products / service categories - be it insurance, wealth management, credit or other financial services - are regulated industries and each merchant is required to be duly authorised to provide those services before we onboard them on to the platform. As Google Pay, our role is firmly circumscribed to providing these merchants a surface where Google Pay users can discover and gain from these offerings - be it credit products, insurance or any others. 

There have been a few instances where these offerings have been reported as ‘Google Pay’s offerings’ which fuels misinterpretation. To be clear, we have always looked at our role firmly as a partner to the existing financial system that brings unique skill sets and offerings to drive further adoption of digital payments in the country.

The success of UPI and digital payments in India have opened many new opportunities for the financial services industry to partner deeply with fin-tech players in the country, and we are encouraged by the progressive and tech-positive approach of the regulators to drive greater financial inclusion. We are committed to play our role by using technology as a means to level social inequalities and contribute to this vision operating within the purview of India’s legal and regulatory frameworks.

Posted by Sajith Sivanandan, Business Head, Payments and NBU, Google APAC

Find detailed information on vaccination availability near you

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a priority within our communities, vaccines remain one of our biggest protections. Nationwide vaccination drives are in full swing, and as more people look to get vaccinated, their requirements for information continue to evolve: finding vaccine availability by location, specific information about vaccination services offered, and details on appointment availability are increasingly important to know.

In March 2021, we started showing COVID-19 vaccination centers on Google, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Starting this week, for over 13,000 locations across the country, people will be able to get more helpful information about vaccine availability and appointments -- powered by real-time data from the CoWIN APIs. This includes information such as:

  • Availability of appointment slots at each center

  • Vaccines and doses offered (Dose 1 or Dose 2)

  • Expectations for pricing (Paid or Free)

  • Link to the CoWIN website for booking

Across Google Search, Maps, and Google Assistant, now find more detailed information on vaccination availability, including vaccines and doses available, appointments and more

The above information will automatically show up when users search for vaccine centers near them, or in any specific area – across Google Search, Maps and Google Assistant. In addition to English, users can also search in eight Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati, and Marathi. We will continue to partner closely with the CoWIN team to extend this functionality to all vaccination centers across India.

As people continue to seek information related to the pandemic to manage their lives around it, we remain committed to finding and sharing authoritative and timely information across our platforms.

Posted by Hema Budaraju, Director, Google Search

Raising our India commitment to build a safer internet for everyone

At Google, safety is core to everything we do. We design our products to ensure that they are secure by default and private by design, and you’re in control of your information. We are privileged that hundreds of millions of Indians place their trust in Google products. 

In India, we have been working towards making the internet helpful for over a billion people through a deeper understanding of our users’ needs under our Next Billion Users initiative, and launching many India-first features and products. After the outbreak of COVID-19, the internet's role in our everyday lives has become all the more central. With more and more Indians turning to the internet for their day-to-day needs, we recognise our responsibility to ensure that they’re protected from an evolving range of online risks — from phishing to financial fraud to misinformation. We also know that new users in particular are vulnerable to threats from bad actors.   

Today, we are underlining our commitment to protect users against this multidimensional challenge — and make the internet safer for everyone. 

Ramping up our trust & safety efforts in India 

To protect our users and products at the scale at which we operate, everyday 24x7, we continuously invest in both people and technology to make the internet safer. With over 20,000 people spread across the world, our Trust and Safety teams are dedicated to identifying, fighting, and preventing online harms. This includes everything from researching emerging abuse trends, to developing policies and standards that make clear what is acceptable on our platforms, to building the technology that enables enforcement of those policies at scale, including compliance with local laws and regulations in every country we operate in. Just in the last year, we’ve invested over $1 billion on our content moderation systems and processes, and we continue to invest in this area. 

In India, we have significantly increased the resources dedicated to these teams, adding product policy analysts, security specialists, and user trust experts, and expanded our efforts to provide coverage in more than 10 vernacular Indian languages, enabling our central teams to benefit from the local nuance and inputs.  This increased focus will help us to tackle misinformation, fraud, threats to child safety, violent extremism, phishing attacks, and malware, among other abuse areas.

A collaborative approach for a safer internet 

We recognise that the work of building a safer internet needs the leadership of the larger internet industry that is driving India’s digital economy. These challenges cannot be overcome by one or two players alone, and there is a need to step up our collective efforts as an industry. We are committed to sharing our tools and the institutional knowledge and capabilities we’ve developed over the years to contribute to this joint responsibility. We will be working with leading industry organisations to help train developers and startups in these capabilities, build communal solutions to shared safety challenges, and innovate on open-source tools so we can better protect Indians online.

Investing in user awareness and education in Indian languages

We also know that safety information helps people understand and avoid online harm. The Google Safety Centre serves as a single destination dedicated to educating and empowering our users on the importance of digital safety. As many people in India use the internet in their regional language, we are launching the new and updated Google Safety Centre in eight languages starting with Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, and Telugu, with three more Indian languages set to roll out by the end of the year. 

On this platform, users can discover helpful resources and easy tips, and identify the digital habits that are right for them and their families, all in the language of their choice. With the ‘My Activity’ hub in the Safety Centre, they can review, control, or delete the activity saved to their Google accounts. This section received more than 1 billion visits by Indian users in the first half of 2021 alone, and we hope this refreshed Safety Center will help millions more.

As part of this effort, we’ve also launched a user education campaign in multiple languages, to bring attention to common threats like phishing, malware, and fraud.

Raising our commitment to ensure children’s safety online

While our policies don’t allow kids under 13 to create a standard Google account, we’ve worked hard to design enriching product experiences for them — as well as for older teens and their families. We are aware that kids and teens are spending more time online, and parents, educators, child safety and privacy experts, and policy makers are rightfully concerned about how to keep them safe. We share these concerns and we have announced a series of new policies in response.

We are also committed to matching these efforts with digital safety resources for parents and children. So starting today, we are excited to launch our global Be Internet Awesome program in India, a resource that is designed and crafted by digital safety experts to help children, families, and educators learn about staying safe online. Available in English and Hindi first, then soon in other Indian languages, Be Internet Awesome is a great resource for kids, parents, and teachers to learn about safe and healthy internet habits.

It includes a highly visual, interactive experience called ‘Interland’, where children can learn the fundamentals of online safety and participate in a series of fun, challenging games. They’ll learn how to safeguard valuable information, one-up cyber bullies, and spot what’s real and what’s fake. We’re also keen for children to explore Be Internet Awesome through avenues they’re already familiar with, and so we are delighted to announce our partnership with popular Indian comic book publishers, Amar Chitra Katha, who will help kids discover these critical internet safety lessons through their favourite characters, in eight Indian languages.

A safer and trusted app experience for our users

Affordable smartphones can unlock online opportunities for millions more Indians. But these devices have to be underpinned by a bedrock of privacy, security, and transparency. We have stepped up our efforts to deliver a privacy-first experience with Android 12 with a new privacy dashboard that gives people a clear timeline view of apps that have accessed their location, microphone, and camera in the last 24 hours — so they can better understand and control what data apps use. 

At the same time, we’re taking steps to identify and respond to concerns around specific app categories more quickly. For example, we recently announced clarifications around the policies on personal loan apps, including new requirements that will help safeguard users, while enabling legitimate developers to operate and flourish. And we have significantly expanded our Google Play support teams in India, enabling us to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of our partners and users — including around online safety. The bottom line is this: when we solve for our users, we also solve for our developers. 

We have no doubt that what we do in India will also shape the future of a Safer Internet for everyone. 

Building a safer internet for everyone is not one more thing to do, it is the one thing to do — together.

Posted by Sanjay Gupta, Country Manager & Vice President, Google India, and Kristie Canegallo, Vice President, Trust & Safety, Google 

Pixel Buds A-Series: Rich sound with an iconic design

When we first introduced our truly wireless Pixel Buds, we aimed to pack plenty of functionality into a surprisingly small product. Now, we’re making that same premium sound quality, along with hands-free help from Google Assistant and real-time translation.

Introducing Pixel Buds A-Series: rich sound, clear calls and Google helpfulness, all in a low-profile design, for ₹ 9,999.

A premium audio experience

Our research shows that most people describe great sound as full, clear and natural. This is what guides our audio tuning process and shows up in other devices, like Nest Audio. And Pixel Buds A-Series are no exception. Custom-designed 12 mm dynamic speaker drivers deliver full, clear and natural sound, with the option for even more power in those low tones with Bass Boost. 

To experience the full range of the speaker’s capabilities, especially in the low frequencies, a good seal is essential. We’ve scanned thousands of ears to make Pixel Buds A-Series fit securely with a gentle seal. In order to keep the fit comfortable over time, a spatial vent reduces in-ear pressure. 

Each earbud also connects to the main device playing audio, and has strong individual transmission power, to keep your sound clear and uninterrupted.

The stabilizer arc ensures a gentle, but secure fit while spatial vents prevent that plugged ear feeling.

Sound quality can also be affected by your environment.  The new Pixel Buds A-Series come with Adaptive Sound, which increases or decreases the volume based on your surroundings. This comes in handy when you're moving from the quiet of your home to somewhere noisy like a city street, or while jogging past a loud construction site.

And your calls will have great sound, too. To make sure your calls are as clear as they can be, Pixel Buds A-Series use beamforming mics to focus on your voice and reduce outside noise, making your calls crystal clear (though of course, overall call quality depends on signal strength, environment, network, and other factors). Once your call is over, quickly get back to your music with a simple “Ok Google, play my music.”

Stylish and hardworking 

For Pixel Buds A-Series, we wanted to bring back the iconic Clearly White, but added a twist with new gray undertones. We use nature for inspiration in our colors all the time, and our design team was looking to create soothing tones that evoke a sense of comfort and relaxation.   

Pixel Buds’ design is inspired by the idea that great things can come in small packages: Pixel Buds A-Series include up to five hours of listening time on a single charge or up to 24 hours using the charging case. And with the ability to get a quick charge — about 15 minutes in the case gives you up to three hours of listening time — you can keep listening anywhere.1 

They’re comfortable enough for those long listening sessions, and don’t worry if some of that time is devoted to a sweaty workout or a run in the rain: The earbuds are also sweat and water-resistant.2 

Hands-free access to the best of Google 

Google Assistant is built right into the Pixel Buds A-Series. You can get quick hands-free help to check the weather, get an answer, change the volume, or have notifications read to you with a simple “Ok Google.” 

You can do more than just ask questions, though — for example, you can get real-time translation in more than 40 languages (including Bengali, Hindi, and Tamil) right in your ear while using a Pixel or Android 6.0+ phone. Say “Ok Google, help me speak French” to start a conversation. For more information, including available languages and minimum requirements, visit

Pixel Buds A-Series work with any phone running bluetooth as standard wireless earbuds, delivering a quality listening experience. Features like the Google Assistant, Fast Pair, Find my Device, Adaptive Sound, and more work on all Pixel and Android devices running Android 6.0+.

Pixel Buds A-Series will be available for purchase on 25th August 2021 at Flipkart, Reliance Digital, and Tata Cliq, and will be coming to more retail outlets subsequently.

Posted by Austine Chang, Product Manager

1. All listening times are approximate and were measured using music playback with pre-production hardware and software, with fully charged Pixel Buds A-Series and case, and other features disabled. Case is used to recharge Pixel Buds A-Series when their batteries are depleted. Charging times are approximate. Use of other features will decrease battery life. Battery life depends on device, features enabled, usage, environment and many other factors. Actual battery life may be lower.

2. Pixel Buds A-Series (earbuds only) have a water protection rating of IPx4 under IEC standard 60529. Water resistance is not a permanent condition and may be compromised by normal wear and tear, repair, disassembly, or damage.

Introducing Class 5 of the Google for Startups Accelerator India

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought forth a new set of challenges amid the ‘new normal’, across healthcare, digital payments, mental health as well as core pillars of the economy like agriculture. The pandemic has also accelerated digital adoption across sectors and there is immense opportunity for tech enabled startups.


Our charter remains to bring the best of Google to India’s thriving startup ecosystem, leverage our learnings across the globe to help startups build the best products. GFS Accelerator has accelerated over 80 startups, which have collectively gone on to raise over $1.9 billion in funding and played a key role in making India one of the largest startup ecosystems in the world. 


This mission is more important than ever right now, when this ecosystem faces many challenges. Like the last cohort, GFS Accelerator India continues to operate with an expanded scope of our 3 month mentorship and support program for startups. We’ve included startups across maturity levels that are not only utilizing cutting edge tech but are meaningfully helping India, and potentially the world, adapt and move forward in this season.


After screening over 700 applicants, we have identified 16 startups, to form the fifth class of GFS Accelerator India. These startups will receive 3 months of mentorship and support from our network of Google and Industry mentors. The ongoing support ranges from access to Google teams, tech guidance on projects, machine learning related support, UX and design mentorship, leadership workshops,  networking opportunities, PR support and much more.


The latest batch comprises startups across key areas requiring innovation such healthcare, fintech, social, education, agritech and more.

  • EkinCare: Enterprise ready, end to end, holistic virtual care platform for payers like employers, insurance companies etc. to save on healthcare costs, and increase end user engagement

  • AgNext: Building trust, speed & transparency in food transactions across the agriculture supply chain using AI-based Rapid Food Quality Assessments.

  • Goals101: Making banking delightful, automated and contextual.

  • OkCredit: A digital bookkeeping solution for small businesses, making selling on credit easier for them.

  • Nemocare Wellness: Ending all preventable neonatal and maternal deaths in the developing world by building affordable, accurate, continuous smart monitoring wearables

  • Bolo Live (Bolo Indya): Live streaming app for next 500 mn internet users of India, enabling them to transform their social capital to financial independence by monetizing their content and fan base.

  • Yoda: Instagram for learning

  • Hypd: Content to Commerce platform, for the See It-Like It-Buy It generation!

  • EloElo: Creator-driven Vernacular Social Gaming platform that brings traditional Indian activities/ games online & enables Creators to monetize their talent effectively

  • Aquaconnect: Full-stack aquaculture technology venture to offer data-driven farm advisory and marketplace solutions to fish and shrimp farmers

  • Bullet: Combining convenience of UPI payment system with power of credit for daily spends

  • MedCords: Family's first digital touchpoint for affordable primary diagnosis and quick medicine delivery.

  • KareXpert: A fully integrated Hospital in the cloud - GSuite for hospitals of any size

  • Walrus: Digital bank for the Indian Youth

A warm welcome to the Class 5 of Google for Startups Accelerator India!

Posted by Paul Ravindranath G, Program Manager, Google for Startups Accelerator, India