- Indian users can now access Google Assistant without internet connectivity.
- Vodafone Idea users can dial-in to 000-800-9191-000 to access Google Assistant for free.
- Hindi and English are supported at launch.
India continues to be one of the largest markets for Google. In fact, Hindi is now the second most used language on Google Assistant after English.
Data connectivity and smartphone penetration in India, however, still remains comparatively low. In a bid to attract the next billion users onto the Google Assistant platform, the company today announced a new phone-line service that lets you use the smart assistant even if you don't have access to data.
Announced at the annual Google for India conference, the company has tied up with local operator, Vodafone Idea, to allow users to dial-in to a toll-free number to access Google Assistant. All you have to do is call 000-800-9191-000 to access Assistant in English or Hindi, with additional languages to follow over time.
There are a few limitations to the service. Since you are dialing in, the Assistant is not tied in to your Google account, and any actions that require access to or data from the account will not work. However, if you are looking for search results, local store listings, weather data or news, Google Assistant will serve it up in a pinch.
After a trial run in the Indian cities of Lucknow and Kanpur, the Google Assistant phone call service is now available across the country. Between Android Go, getting Google Assistant on Kai OS and now the phone-line service, Google appears to be making all the right moves to migrate India's burgeoning internet-connected audience to their platform. The Google Assistant phone call functionality, in particular, is a brilliant move to bring smart connectivity to areas with limited internet access or to those who have yet migrated to smartphones.