The tech press is gossiping about Google’s new strategy in hitting next billion users, by opening an engineering hub in Singapore. That’s not all. The company also announced it acquired the startup Pie, which makes a mobile workplace chat app similar to Slack.
Although many people don’t think of this, we take the internet for granted. With smartphones giving us quick access to the information that we either need or want to view, we forget that this technology has literally been with us since the early 2000’s. A lot of us may get upset when we lose internet connection, but the true reality of it all is that while we’re busy surfing the web and getting upset when a YouTube video clocks out, people across the world are for the first time using the internet.
A report from the UN says that 300 Million people stepped into the online world for the first time last year which made 2015 the year that the most people were using the internet. For the many people who fall in that large sum of new users, accessing the internet isn’t as easy as one may think. People that live in countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines have a much more difficult time trying to gain access to sites due to poor service.
In addition for many first time internet users their only source for retrieving internet is through a budget smartphone and paying to connect cost a lot of money. To add insult to injury, loading websites on these budget phones isn’t nearly as quick as ours, taking long minutes to load.
Now that we’ve pictured that in our heads, let’s switch to the actual news. Google wants to try and help out and fix these issues by constructing an engineering team, so they can get closer to the next billion internet users that will soon come online.
However, the project has already started with the acquihire of Pie.co.
Founded in 2013, Pie is a Singapore-based startup providing tools for work specializing in messaging software that employees use at the office. Their idea is to make work much more fun and engaging along with enhanced communication at work. Pie believes that ‘all software should be fun, fast, and easy to use.’ The team, which comprises nine members, is led by founder and CEO Thijs Jacobs.
As a result of the deal, Pie will cease its operations on March 2, after which it will fully integrate with Google. Also, the acquisition was undisclosed – both Pie founder and CEO Pieter Walraven and Google declined to comment on the price of the deal.
This is not where the story ends. In conjunction with this deal, Google has also committed to help train developers. Indonesian President Joko Widodo is visiting the company in Mountain View, and Google has offered support in helping to train up a generation of software developers. The target is 100,000 Indonesian developers by 2020.
Google notes that its target will be reached using a three-step approach.
Firstly, it will partner with universities to reach senior year computer science students, offering them a full semester curriculum focussed on creating Android apps.
Secondly, Google’s Udacity courses will be translated into Bahasa Indonesia. These courses are free and can be taken anywhere, from any device. Translating these courses in to a local language will make it easier for the country’s aspiring developers to get going with building their app ideas. Or, at least, that’s Google’s hope.
Finally, Google plans to hold Developer Study Jams. They’ll host these intensive study groups across five cities: Bandung, Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.
To sum up, this is the latest from the technology company as it continues on its mission to standardize information from all over the world and making it both universally available and helpful.
Image Source: slashgear.com.