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Thursday, January 21, 2021

5 Google services that helped us in 2020 pandemic and made life easier

Google services in 2020 got hit for the third time it seems. But the help of Google services in 2020 has been enormous in the backdrop of the pandemic. In fact, the contribution of Google services is increasing. Read the full article to know more.

Google is having its jinxed “2020” episodes. Google services in 2020 got hit for the third time it seems. On Monday, The world’s biggest tech giant experienced a major hit as its services, including Gmail and Google Docs became inaccessible for some time. The unusual outage took place in several countries, including India. Google Meet, Google Classroom, Google Play and YouTube also got affected.

Why are Google services getting hit, facing outage several times in 2020?

Google earlier got hit by a significant outage in August 2020, which also took down its suite of online services and YouTube. The reason for the technical issue is not publicly known. Gmail turned out to be the worst affected service, and this outage was the second major outage that Gmail users faced in 2020; the previous major outage had occurred just one month prior, in July

On November 11, 2020, another outage occurred on YouTube, YouTube TV, Google TV, and Google Play. This was the first outage in 2020. The outage started at roughly 12:20 PM UTC. Users experienced problems playing videos, error messages, and errors that caused loading loops. At 4:13 AM UTC, YouTube gave the all-clear on it’s Twitter.

Google services in 2020 hit thrice: What happened exactly

The users faced various issues right from opening the websites, logging in, texting and using the features of the services. A large number of YouTube users found problems in accessing the site and watching videos. However, some users reported on Twitter that they could watch YouTube videos in “Incognito” mode even during the outage. According to reports, Google services experienced outages in parts of Europe, the US and more.

But despite all these outages, the contribution of Google and its services in 2020 has been massive. The pandemic, the lockdown, the work from home culture, all these helped us realize how Google services, apps from the Google play store. We cannot imagine how this year would be if these online services were not available. In this article, we shall highlight the contribution of 5 such Google services in 2020.

Which 5 Google services helped us in 2020 pandemic and made lives easy?

1. Google Meet

The days and weeks after the pandemic’s outbreak have been challenging for every industry, customer and employees. From March through September of 2020, all G Suite customers had access to advanced Google Meet video conferencing features. These features included larger meetings, the ability to record meetings, and in-domain live streaming. Access to advanced Meet features is now determined by your account and edition. Google Meet is playing as a major contributor to the work from home culture.

Google has also rolled out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite customers globally through July 1, 2020. And we’re working to support increased demand for public livestreaming on YouTube. Pichai noted that there has been an increased interest in regions affected by Covid-19 as people look to connect virtually with their communities.

2. Google Pay

No-touch money transactions, an ultimate solution for pandemic days. Caesar Sengupta, Google’s Vice-President Payments and Next Billion Users said more than 3 million merchants are using Google Pay to ensure contactless payments in India. He added that over 2 million users have used the app’s ‘Nearby Stores Spot’ to find and buy essential goods.

The app has helped Kirana stores across the remote places of the country to start accepting digital payments and keep their businesses going safely. Be it shopping for essential goods and commodities or paying for them, Google Pay is said to have made transactions hassle-free. During the pandemic, this app’s use rose like never before. Two years after debuting in India, Google’s digital payment platform Google Pay hit 67 million monthly active users in India, driving transactions worth over $110 billion on an annualized basis with hundreds of thousands of offline and online merchants. Its parent company Alphabet’s CEO Sundhar Pichai now wants to take the India model globally.

3. Google Teach from home

This is another major Google services that helped students and teachers come on a common virtual platform. The tech giant helped businesses sustain and people across the country connect with others during the ongoing pandemic. Google said since May, its ‘Team for Home’ initiative has helped over 4 lakh educators to access information and quickly adjust to the new normal. While talking about further plans, Sapna Chadha, Google Senior Country Marketing Director for India and Southeast Asia, said the tech giant be giving $1 million to Kaivalya Education Foundation to train over 7,00,000 teachers to provide virtual education to students who are from low-income communities.

Sapna further announced that Google is partnering with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to enable 1 million teachers in over 22,000 schools to deliver blended learning that combines the classroom approach with online learning using free tools like G-Suite for education, Google Classroom, YouTube, and more, a report said.

4. Google Flights, new tool

The pandemic and lockdown saw flight services getting majorly disrupted. While international services are yet to resume, the Centre has been taking step by step decisions for domestic flights. Therefore, Google flights has been a very handy platform for those looking for flight details, timings and other such information in these chaotic times.

People, while searching for flights on Google, usually find an option to book with an airline or online travel agency by visiting their website. In some cases, one can also be able to “Book on Google,” finishing their transaction with the airline or travel agency while staying on Google. So if you want to book a flight on Google and are logged in to your Google Account, you can be able to complete the booking quickly and securely using contact and payment info stored in your account. Booking flights on Google requires some simple steps to follow.

On the other hand, Google is rolling out a new tool that provides airline partners with search data that carriers are using to help decide which routes to restart and when. Unlike existing data from Google for airlines about their own performance across Google products, the newly provided data provides a market-wide view of consumer intent-based on flight searches regardless of airline. Lufthansa and Air France were two partners willing to go on the record about their use of the tool.

5. Google Workspace

The past few months have brought a flurry of changes to Google’s productivity apps. Some of the revamps came after the pandemic, while others have long been in the works. The culmination of those changes is “Google Workspace.” Covid-19 continues to be the catalyst behind some of the many changes in 2020. At work, communication is primarily, if not fully, virtual due to the move away from offices and rise of working from home. Google already had Hangouts Meet, but it became just Google Meet in April.

Quite easily, Google Workspace wants to manage your day is by saving it and letting you get everything done in one window. This development flew under the radar over the summer, but the new Gmail puts all of Google’s key communication tools in one app. Email, instant messaging, and video calling are now side-by-side. You no longer have to decide what app to open or navigate to, and can just click in Gmail for the right tool.

With more and more people working from home and depending on web communications, the value of Google Workspace will even grow in the coming months.

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