Ola is collaborating with Google to extend its horizon to the small towns of India. Google will help Ola develop a lightweight mobile website which offers consumers with an ‘app-like’ experience on cheaper smartphones. The new light weight website will only be consuming a fraction of the data used by the native apps and would do well to serve customers in small towns and cities with poor internet connections. According to a press release by Google, “Ola’s PWA will enable the use of its platform across hundreds of cities in India and addresses a significant market opportunity for customers and drivers.”
The collaboration was first announced at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, earlier yesterday. According to the press release, Ola is partnering with Google to make use of its cutting-edge tech to extend its reach and enter key markets across hundreds of cities in India with limited connectivity and a rigorous use of cheaper and simple smartphones. It must be noted that despite the rise in an increase of smartphones in India in the last 2 years, the country still remains behind most other emerging economies. And with most of the citizens using low-end smartphones, installation of too many apps slow down the functionality of the phone due to RAM and data issues. Ola Progressive Web App (PWA) uses only 50 KB of data on its first payload and 10KB on all subsequent others, thus making it suitable to use on a low-end smartphone.
Ankit Bhati, Co-Founder and CTO of Ola, said, “The launch of PWA technology represents another milestone in Ola’s commitment to building innovative technology that is made for India. As the first ride-hailing app in the APAC region that is using PWA technology, this represents an important development that will enable us to reach an ever greater number of customers and driver partners in rural India. We have always said that addressing market needs is a key priority and this launch takes us one step further in our commitment to providing mobility for a billion Indians.”
Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, VP Product Management – Chrome, Google, also spoke about the matter and said, “Our PWA journey began a few years ago and we are delighted to see the traction this technology has had, especially in mobile-first countries like India. It’s exciting to see Ola create their PWA, which will ensure their users have an engaging experience from the very first moment”.