Tag Archives: smartphone

A new Android smartphone and 5G partnership with Jio

Thank you to everyone at Reliance Industries for all you do for India from investing in infrastructure and technology to creating jobs and expanding opportunity to supporting communities in need, especially in this difficult moment for the country.

It’s been devastating to see the country hit so hard by COVID-19. Yet it’s heartening to see how Reliance has stepped up to contribute to the national response and get support to the communities that need it most. On behalf of all of us at Google: We hope you are taking care and we are wishing for better days ahead.

For Google, the past year has brought renewed purpose and greater urgency to our mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. At a time when so many aspects of our lives and work are moving online, it’s even more important to make technology accessible and helpful for everyone. 

This goal is at the heart of our partnership with Reliance Jio. I was proud to help launch this partnership last year. It was the first and biggest equity investment from the ₹75,000 crore ($10 billion) Google for India Digitization Fund.

Our vision was to bring affordable access to information for Indians in their own language, to build new products and services for India’s unique needs, and to empower businesses with technology.

I’m excited that today, we can announce the next steps in this vision, starting with a new, affordable Jio smartphone, created with Google. Our teams have optimized a version of our Android OS especially for this device. It will offer language and translation features, a great camera, and support for the latest Android updates.

It is built for India and it will open up new possibilities for millions of new users who will experience the internet for the very first time. And we can’t wait to show you the device later this year.

I’m also proud to announce that we are taking our collaboration further with a new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio.

It will help more than a billion Indians connect to a faster and better internet, support businesses in their digital transformation, and help Jio build new services in sectors like health, education and more — laying a foundation for the next phase of India’s digitization.  

As part of this collaboration, Reliance will also shift its core retail businesses to Google Cloud’s infrastructure. They will be able take advantage of Google’s AI and machine learning, e-commerce, and demand forecasting offerings. Harnessing the reliability and performance of Google Cloud will enable these businesses to scale up as needed to respond to customer demand. 

Empowering businesses as they embark on their digital transformation is a key part of our mission in India, and I’m excited for the innovations this partnership will help unleash. We are proud to play a part in India’s next wave of technological innovation. 

Helping to connect 1.3 billion Indians to the opportunities the internet creates is meaningful to all of us at Google — and certainly to me personally. I know that with greater access to smartphones and improved connectivity, there’s no limit to what India’s people can do. 

We look forward to getting technology into the hands of more people and to exploring what more we can achieve together in the years ahead.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet

Partnering with Jio to help bring the promise of internet connectivity and affordability to everyone

From the infrastructure that facilitates widespread connectivity to the availability of truly affordable smartphones, we have been committed to finding ways to help bring ubiquitous access to information to people everywhere. With the pandemic resulting in greater dependency on online services and the need for timely information, access to the internet is especially crucial today. But hundreds of millions of Indians are yet to benefit from being connected, to utilize services and access information that can have a positive and immediate impact on their daily lives. Today we are excited to give you an update on our partnership with Jio in two key areas that can help bridge this gap.

Making the internet accessible to millions of more Indians with Jio

While millions of people across India who use feature phones want access to a full-fledged smartphone, there exists gaps in usability and affordability that prevent these aspirations from becoming reality.

Our Android teams across the globe have been hard at work in finding solutions to these challenges. A big milestone in this journey was our announcement last year to invest in Jio Platforms Ltd to address this gap by jointly creating a device based on optimizations to the Android operating system and the Play Store that serves the needs of many who have never used a smartphone before, while offering premium capabilities that have until now been associated with more powerful devices.

Along with Jio we are thrilled to share a preview of our made-for-India device that is built to address the unique needs of millions of new smartphone users across India. We have worked closely with the Jio team on engineering and product development on useful voice-first features that enable these users to consume content and navigate the phone in their own language, deliver a great camera experience, and get the latest Android feature and security updates.

Image 1: Use Google Assistant to get things done in popular Jio apps; Image 2: Listen to any content on your phone screen by tapping the ‘Listen’ button; Image 3: Quickly Translate any content -- on your phone screen or in the phone’s camera

Easily access and consume content in a choice of Indian languages: For users who might not be able to read content in their language, with a tap of a button they can now translate what’s on their screen, and even have it read back to them in their own language. Read Aloud and Translate Now are seamlessly integrated in the OS allowing these features to work with any text on their phone screen, including web pages, apps, messages, and even photos. We’ve also added App Actions that enable Google Assistant to deliver a great experience with many of the Jio apps on this device. In addition to asking for the latest cricket scores or a weather update, you can also ask Google Assistant to play music on Jio Saavn or check your balance on My Jio.

Image 1: Clearer photos in low light with Night mode; Image 2: Photos have wider dynamic range with HDR mode; Image 3: Snapchat lenses bring Indian-specific effects to your selfies

A great camera experience: A fast, high-quality camera is a must-have feature for today's smartphone users, so we partnered closely to build an optimized experience within the phone’s Camera module resulting in great photos and videos: from clearer photos at night and in low-light situations to HDR mode that brings out wider color and dynamic range in photos, these are firsts for affordable phones in India. We have also partnered with Snap to integrate Indian-specific Snapchat Lenses directly into the phone’s camera, and we will continue to update this experience.

Ongoing feature drops and the latest system updates: Along with support for the latest Android releases and security updates, this experience will keep getting better with new features and customizations, all delivered over-the-air. With Google Play Protect built in, it has Google’s world-class security and malware protection. And with the Google Play Store, you will have access to millions of apps that people across the world use and enjoy.

The smartphone being developed with Jio will be called JioPhone Next. It will be coming later this year, and will enable scores of new internet users to experience these best-in-class Android smartphone features at an affordable price. This is a momentous step in our Android mission for India, and is the first of many that our Android product and engineering teams will embark on in India. We are also actively expanding our engineering teams in India, as we continue to work on finding ways to answer the unique needs of India’s smartphone users.

Powering Jio’s services with a new Google Cloud Partnership

We’re delighted to share that Jio and Google Cloud are embarking on a new long-term, strategic partnership, independent of our investment in Jio Platforms Ltd, with a goal of powering 5G in enterprise and consumer segments in India. Jio will take advantage of Google Cloud’s scalable infrastructure and will also migrate many of their core businesses to Google Cloud.

Google Cloud’s deep expertise and innovation, combined with telco-specific capabilities for security, performance, and resilience, will help Jio’s 5G service to deliver high speed internet as demand for connectivity goes up. The two companies will collaborate to bring a portfolio of 5G edge computing solutions as Jio builds new services across many verticals including gaming, healthcare, education, and entertainment. These will be powered by Jio’s 5G network and Google Cloud’s innovations in AI/ML, data and analytics, and other cloud-native technologies. 

This new Cloud partnership will also see Reliance migrating its core retail businesses like Reliance Retail, JioMart, JioHealth, JioSaavn and others to Google Cloud’s infrastructure, taking advantage of Google’s AI/ML, ecommerce, and demand forecasting offerings. Leveraging the scalability of Google Cloud will increase reliability and performance, as well as enable these businesses to scale up to respond to customer demand.  

We are deeply privileged to play a role in the next phase of India’s digital transformation and we look forward to working closely with Jio to share more on these developments in the months ahead.

Posted by Ram Papatla GM & India Engineering Lead, Android, and Bikram Singh Bedi, Managing Director, Google Cloud India