Google and Jio have shared more details around their jointly developed made-for-India smartphone called JioPhone Next coming later this year.
Based on an optimized OS that is leveraged from Android and Play Store with features that are built specially for JioPhone Next, the two technology organizations have worked closely to create a smartphone experience aimed at addressing the unique needs of millions of smartphone users across India.
In these times when access to the internet has become a fundamental need, hundreds of millions of Indians are yet to experience the power of being connected, to utilize services and access information that can have a positive and immediate impact on their daily lives. Google’s Android teams across the globe have been hard at work to find solutions to address the digital needs of these Indians.
Deep technology insights and consumer learnings of both organizations have been used to design this path-breaking OS for a superior user experience. And so building on their pledge from last year to work towards rethinking how millions of Indians can live the digital life, Google and Jio have developed a smartphone experience that will enable users to consume content and navigate the phone in their preferred language, deliver a great camera experience, and get the latest Android features and security updates.
Speaking about the joint effort, Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet said, “Our vision is 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.”
Announcing the phone, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited said, “JIO has truly democratized digital connectivity in India by offering the highest quality, most affordable 4G broadband services in the world. Google and Jio teams have jointly developed a truly breakthrough smartphone that we are calling JioPhone Next. JioPhone Next is powered by an extremely optimized version of the Android operating system. While being ultra-affordable, JioPhone Next is packed with cutting-edge features like the Google Assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, smart camera with augmented reality filters and much more. This is testimony to a global technology company and a national technology champion working jointly to make a break-through product. JioPhone Next will be available in the market from the auspicious date of Ganesh Chaturthi, 10th September, this year.”
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 now OS-wide features that will work with any text on their phone screen, including web pages, apps, messages, and even photos. Using App Actions, people can utilize their 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, users can also ask Google Assistant to play music on JioSaavn or check their balance on My Jio.
A great camera: A fast, high-quality camera is a must-have feature for today’s smartphone users, so Google and Jio’s teams have 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. Google has 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, users will have access to millions of apps that people across the world use and enjoy.
Google and Jio’s engineering and product development teams are continuing to build on these capabilities, unprecedented for an affordable device, and are committed to offering a best-in-class experience to millions of India’s new internet users when this smartphone is launched.