Google melds Indian government cloud storage into Android • The Register

Google has built-in the Indian government’s cloud storage service into Android – a feat that weaves the nationwide ID system and government paperwork deeply into the search big’s OS.
India’s cloud storage service known as DigiLocker and was scoped at 14 exabytes – a gigabyte for each citizen.
DigiLocker is meant as a repository for government paperwork akin to driving licenses, tutorial information, or automobile registrations. Document signing services have been added to the platform. But take-up has been reasonable – its 100 million customers are however a small fraction of the nation’s 1.4 billion folks, of whom 780 million-plus are cellular system customers.

Android, nonetheless, has over 95 % market share in India.

And now the Files by Google app – which makes it simpler to entry Android’s filesystem – can entry information saved in DigiLocker.
This is not similar to including a third-party storage supplier like Dropbox. This is important, for 3 causes.

One is that accessing DigiLocker requires logging in with India’s Aadhar nationwide identification scheme. So India clearly trusts Google sufficient to make that occur.
Another motive is that DigiLocker has its personal apps. The government is clearly that eager for an additional avenue to drive DigiLocker adoption that it’s ready for its apps to wither on the vine as customers look to Google options.
A 3rd is that India has in recent times promoted the idea of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” – a imaginative and prescient for self-reliance in lots of fields. Yet this is India leaning on Google – a overseas firm – to assist it unfold a government service.

Google additionally introduced a bunch of different India-centric stuff, together with:

Improved speech recognition for audio system of “Hinglish” – a mixture of Hindi and English that’s frequent in India. Google is just not being completely altruistic with this innovation, because it revealed “the share of Indians utilizing voice search queries every day is almost twice the worldwide common”;

Delivering search ends in two languages – English and a person’s native language. India acknowledges 22 regional languages as official, so once more that is Google ensuring its providers are usable, not simply observing native mores;

Adding a search possibility that accepts textual content and pictures as enter;

Improved fraud detection in Google Pay, and a characteristic that enables voice queries akin to “Show me how a lot I spent on espresso final week”.

All of the above was sufficient to earn Alphabet boss and expat Indian Sundar Pichai – who attended the occasion – a chat with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Was a delight to satisfy you @sundarpichai and focus on innovation, know-how and extra. It is vital the world continues to work collectively to leverage tech for human prosperity and sustainable growth.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 19, 2022
While the above is all smiles and bonhomie – as is the case with such issues – Google and India stay at loggerheads on many points. India has fined Google twice in latest months for abusing its Android monopoly, and anti-competitive practices in its Play retailer. Another case about abuse of Smart TV market energy stays unresolved.
YouTube stays beneath fixed stress for permitting video nasties – or clips deemed as such in India – to achieve the nation’s populace. ®

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