Google today announced a couple of new significant moves as it plans to refocus on development in southeast Asia. It will build its first engineering team dedicated to the area, in Singapore, and has promised to help train up to 100,000 developers in Indonesia within 4 years, in a bid to get more content out in the country, using its own national language(s).
Google X’s incredibly ambitious Project Loon is expanding into another country soon. Parent company Alphabet today announced that it is teaming up with the three largest wireless carriers in Indonesia to test its Project Loon in Indonesia beginning next year. Google is targeting Indonesia because it is the fourth most populous country in the world, but two-thirds of its citizens lack access to Internet.
Android One, Google’s program focused on bringing high quality smartphones to developing markets at affordable price points, is expanding to Indonesia later this month, the company announced today. Indonesia will become the fifth country in which Google has rolled out the Android One program since the initiative was first introduced at Google I/O last year. Expand Expanding Close
Google Play Newsstand, which serves as the hub of all kinds of news and magazines for your Android device, is apparently coming to four new countries as of today. According to a post made by the Google Play team on Google+, those countries include Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and South Korea.
Prepare the comfy chair. Google Play Newsstand is now in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Korea.
This addition, while expanding Play offerings to these countries, leaves a lot to be desired. Many of Google’s other Play services, like Play Music and Play Movies & TV, are still missing in a few of these countries. You can get Google Play Newsstand on the Play Store for free.
Google Street View cars have been busy, adding Mason and Grand Ledge in the U.S., expanding coverage of Malaysia and adding in Argentina, reports the Google Earth Blog – the Grand Ledge Opera House shown above. This follows Google adding Cambodia and Indonesia last month.
Google has already added historical Street View links to a few locations in Argentina, the dates indicating that Google has been collecting the imagery for around a year.
Google’s Street View cars are doing more than taking photos these days, the company using some of them to detect methane leaks from corroded pipes, landfill sites and other sources. The company’s more notorious form of data-collection – wifi sniffing – resulted in a $7M settlement, the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting its attempt to appeal the lawsuit.
Another Maps improvement rolling out today is support for navigation in Panama, as noted by AndroidPolice. Google also confirmed the roll out by adding Panama to the list of supported countries for navigation on its website.
The US company will partner BK Modi’s Spice Global to set up the stores in various Indian cities, starting with New Delhi later this year. Like other such stores in Indonesia, each Android Nation store will promote and sell Android smartphones and tablets across multiple brands like Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG and Asus, to name a few. The first Indian store will open in New Delhi’s Select Citywalk, a person with direct knowledge of the situation informed ET. Google has been scouting for a 1,200-1,500 sq ft location for this store.
It actually won’t be the first time Google has opened up an Android Nation retail store. As noted in the report, Google also operates two locations in Jakarta, Indonesia through a partnership with Indonesian electronics retailer Erafone.
Google’s new efforts won’t just hit India, there are also apparently plans to expand into the Middle East, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Africa with the help of partner Spice Global. The company will also turn 50 of its 900 Spice Hotspots into Android Nation locations to expedite the expansion. Expand Expanding Close
Facebook announced an interesting new feature for its updated Messenger for Android app today: the ability to sign up/in using only a name and phone number. The announcement marks the first time Facebook is offering one of its core services and apps without the need of an actual Facebook account. The feature will initially roll out to select markets, including: India, Indonesia, Australia, Venezuela, South Africa, and more countries to follow. Facebook also told us it plans to open the feature to iOS users in the future. Since these users will not have a Facebook account, the app will pull the device’s contacts to start direct or group conversations.
An update to Messenger for Android is available today, and Messenger accounts will become available over the next few weeks