On Thursday, Google had its “Google For India” event where it announced that the Google Assistant will be available to some feature phone users in India through a toll-free number.
The conversation on a phone with Google Assistant will be similar to that of how it happens in your device. You pick up your phone, call the toll-free number, ask a question and get the answer, as simple as that. In other words, you are getting Google Assistant to work in Offline Mode.
The users who have a Vodafone or Idea connection will be able to use this feature by giving a call to 000 800 9191 000 and then talking to Google Assistant in English or Hindi.
Manuel Bronstein, Vice President, Product Management at Google, told India Today Tech that for the Phone Line service, the back-end will be handled jointly by Google and Vodafone. He also said that,
“The conversations are real-time and feel incredibly natural. It’s like talking to someone on the phone,”
Other than this, Google Assistant will also be getting Telgu, Tamil and Marathi support in Google Lens. 7 new Indic languages will also be available in the Discover feed.
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 haven’t yet migrated to smartphones.