After Reliance Industries (RIL) unveiled its much-anticipated smartphone, JioPhone Next, at its 44th annual general meeting on June 24, in partnership with Google, the latter reaffirmed its objective of bringing internet connectivity and affordability to India.
"Our Android teams across the globe have been hard at work in finding solutions to these challenges. A big milestone in this journey was our announcement last year to invest in Jio Platforms Ltd to address this gap by jointly creating a device based on optimizations to the Android operating system and the Play Store that serves the needs of many who have never used a smartphone before, while offering premium capabilities that have until now been associated with more powerful devices," Google said in a blogpost.
Written by Ram Papatla GM and India Engineering Lead, Android, and Bikram Singh Bedi, Managing Director, Google Cloud India, Google blog post said that the tech giant worked closely with the Jio team on engineering and product development on useful voice-first features that enable the users to consume content and navigate the phone in their own language, deliver a great camera experience, and get the latest Android feature and security updates.
Last July, Google invested $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms, taking a 7.73 percent stake in the company. This was the first investment from Google under its India Digitisation Fund, through which it plans to invest $10 billion over the next five to seven years to accelerate its digital economy.
Google and Jio Platforms had also entered into a commercial agreement to jointly develop an entry-level affordable smartphone with optimisations to the Android operating system and the Play Store, an effort that would help millions of users in India become owners of smartphones.
The new JioPhone Next will allow users to read content in their language with a tap of a button. Read Aloud and Translate Now are seamlessly integrated in the OS allowing these features to work with any text on their phone screen, including web pages, apps, messages, and even photos, Google said.
"In addition to asking for the latest cricket scores or a weather update, you can also ask Google Assistant to play music on Jio Saavn or check your balance on My Jio."
It further lists down camera features including clearer photos at night and in low-light situations to HDR mode, without revealing the price but said that all these features will be a"first at an affordable price."
The new phone will be launched later this year with all the security features. "We are also actively expanding our engineering teams in India, as we continue to work on finding ways to answer the unique needs of India’s smartphone users," it said.
Jio and Google cloud have also come together in a cloud partnership through which Reliance will migrate its core retail businesses like Reliance Retail, JioMart, JioHealth, JioSaavn and others to Google Cloud’s infrastructure.
"The two companies will collaborate to bring a portfolio of 5G edge computing solutions as Jio builds new services across many verticals including gaming, healthcare, education, and entertainment. These will be powered by Jio’s 5G network and Google Cloud’s innovations in AI/ML, data and analytics, and other cloud-native technologies," the blog post added.