GoogleWire: Google Maps is Now Available in Hindi to Woo Indians

In order to make its navigation service more useful, Google on Tuesday announced the launch of its Google Maps in Hindi for desktop and android mobile phone users. It will allow the users to see names of cities, localities, important roads and routes as well as popular landmarks such as parks and schools in Hindi.

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During launching the service, Suren Ruhela, Product and Program Management Director, Google, said, the service may be made available in regional languages based on the feedback of this initiative.

He said that the service was a part of the company’s global initiative to make maps more useful for users locally.

“We made maps useful across the user group whose needs are uniform. The new Google Map service is more useful and the user can take a virtual tour of a place where he wants to go and launching it in Hindi will give comfort to the Hindi users,” he said.

To view Hindi name labels on the maps, now users need to enable Hindi as their preferred language on their devices. For the Android app, users simply need to select the Hindi option within the Language and input menu found in their phone’s Settings menu. On the desktop-interface, users can selecting the Hindi option at the bottom of the page on the google.co.in home page or by changing the language preference to Hindi on their Google account settings.

“By launching Google Maps in Hindi today, hopefully Indians can explore and navigate the world around them more easily, whether these are people who already use Maps to find their way around day-to-day or Hindi-speakers coming online for the first time,” he said.

Earlier, Google bought device management app Divide and had acquired Android optimization platform FlexoCore as well as Swiss start-up Bitspin. It had also introduced barter system on Google+.

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Recently, Google had launched Fit Health data Platform, Android Auto, TV, One and Android Wear at I/O conference 2014.

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NDTV Gadgets says: Ruhela says that the only reason for giving both Hindi and English names is to ensure that users do not become confused. “There may have been a chance that we may have gotten the translations wrong. We have kept both the names because we want users to have clarity regarding its usage. We have only kept the names of places of prominence, and widely searched places on the translated lists as of now,” he says.

The Hindi-supported version of maps is not yet available on other platforms, or even older versions of the Android OS. “The idea is to create a complete eco-system eventually. As of now we also want to see how we can integrate devices running the older versions of the Android OS. Eventually the idea is to come on the App Store, the Windows Phone Store, and the BlackBerry World store,” he says.

Tech First Post says: Google’s press statement says that “the new labels visible on Google Maps today have been created by transliterating English names to Hindi, or, translating the English names to Hindi and ensuring the text resonated with local dialects.”

During the same event, Sandeep Menon, Head of Marketing for Google India, had pointed out that 61 percent of the Internet use in India will be through mobile devices in the next two years. Now, with Google Maps in Hindi, Google has shown just how serious it is about this market and the burgeoning 61 percent.

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