Asia Pacific Blog
Google and the Internet from .in to .au
Tap. Pay. Islandwide: Android Pay arrives in Singapore
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Update July 14, 2016: G’day. We’re pleased to announce that Android Pay is now available Down Under. Find out more
What’s the one thing we can’t leave home without? Our smartphones. And starting today, with
, that’s all Singaporeans will need to pay for their morning
lunches or even their groceries at the end of the day.
How does Android Pay work?
Using Android Pay is simple. Just wake your phone (you don’t even have to open an app), hold it to the payment terminal, and voilà — your payment is done. You’ll get a notification on your phone telling you how much you spent where.
To get started,
download the app from the Play Store
. It’s available on all Android devices that are NFC-enabled and running on
Because Android Pay doesn’t share your actual credit or debit card number with the merchant when you pay, it’s even safer than using a plastic card. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can simply use
Android Device Manager
to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or even wipe it clean of your personal information.
Android Pay works with MasterCard® and Visa cards from DBS, OCBC Bank, POSB, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB. You can add multiple cards (there’s no limit to how many cards you can add) and select which card to charge the amount to, so you can always enjoy the best deals available.
Shop (and save) at your favorite stores
Singaporeans can now use Android Pay at thousands of retail locations islandwide that accept NFC contactless payments, including 7-11, BreadTalk, Cold Storage, McDonald’s, NTUC FairPrice, StarHub, Toast Box, Uniqlo, and Watsons. Take a look
for more places where you can use Android Pay.
Android Pay also stores your gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers right on your phone. You’ll no longer need to worry about leaving them at home, plus you’ll get special offers as an Android Pay user. We are also working closely with leading loyalty programmes such as NTUC Link’s Plus! Rewards Programme and CapitaLand's CAPITASTAR. Users will be able to earn reward points and enjoy special offers across multiple retail outlets soon with just a tap.
Pay in apps
Android Pay will also let you breeze through checkout when you shop in your favorite mobile apps. There’s no need to enter your payment or address details every time. Look for the Android Pay purchase button when the feature launches later in the year in apps like Deliveroo, Grab, Shopee, Singapore Airlines, Uber, Zalora, with many more to come.
Merchants, want to accept Android Pay?
As an open platform, Android Pay is available to any merchant that wants to push mobile payments forward. Just visit the
Android Pay API developer site
to learn how to accept Android Pay in your app. By working closely not just with banks and retailers, but also payment processors such as Braintree, Stripe, and FirstData, we’re making using Android Pay across apps simple and easy.
Singapore is the first country in Asia to get Android Pay, but this is only the start, so stay tuned!
Posted by Pali Bhat, Senior Director, Product Management, Google
Mobile First World
Now you can find the butcher, the baker and the yukata maker with Google Maps
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Tourists from around the world are flocking to Japan in increasing numbers. According to the
Japan National Tourism Organization
, over 2 million tourists came to Japan in April, which is the highest number on record. If you’re one of the many visitors who doesn’t speak or read Japanese, it can be tricky to find your way around.
Say you’re shopping in downtown Tokyo. Although Google Maps can you tell you the English and Japanese names of stores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi or Lawson, these don’t tell you what kind of stores these are. Are they cosmetics stores, fashion boutiques, ramen restaurants or stationery stores? The list of possibilities is endless. (Which is how long it can feel to switch between apps to look things up too!)
From today it’s easier to see what kind of store you’re looking at in Google Maps. Now you’ll be able to see if you’re looking at a bookstore, laundromat, pizza restaurant or toy store in Google Maps. This way you’ll know that you can pick up a late night snack at Lawsons or some cosmetics at Matsumoto Kiyoshi.
There are more than 1,000 types of businesses available and this feature will be available in 19 languages. These include Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Dutch, English, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.
These categories are rolling out over time and will appear in Google Maps when you arrive in Japan. We hope this new feature makes exploring Japan easier with Google Maps
and good luck finding that
Posted by Herman Sheremetyev, Software Engineer, Google Maps
India’s saathis bring the Internet to life for thousands of women across rural India
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Usha is an Internet Saathi in
, in the easternmost part of Rajasthan. She’s been trained to teach other women in her community, like Munni, how to get online. With Usha’s help, Munni has learned how to research sari blouse and bag designs on the Internet, finding inspiration and new techniques to create better products. Munni is now able to charge more for her work, and she uses the extra money she earns to pay for her education, to support her mother, and she hopes to treat herself to a gold ring soon.
Clockwise from left: Usha takes her bike, equipped with Internet-enabled devices to women in neighboring villages; showing Munni how to do a voice search to research designs on the Internet; Munni’s family looking on
Usha is just one of many Internet
—or “Internet companions”—who have helped over 200,000 women across India take their first steps online since we started this program with Tata Trusts back in July.
In a country where only a third of Internet users are women, and where just one in ten Internet users is a women in rural India, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to bridge the digital gender divide. Women living in rural areas often lack not only access to Internet-enabled devices, but many are also
of how the Internet can help them in their daily lives.
Our efforts to provide training on basic Internet skills to women across the country began with an
nearly two years ago. Built on the back of a bike, the rickshaw was equipped with an Internet-enabled devices, information on using the web and an operator to explain. Over time, we recognized that to make a difference, we needed to be embedded within the communities we were working in. Having local women trainers, or companions, at the village level as trainers today is what makes Internet Saathis scalable, sustainable and truly impactful.
] program is a collaboration between Google and
, with Google helping to train the trainers and providing data-enabled devices. Once the
are trained, they are introduced into the communities through Tata Trust’s vast network which they built over many years through active community work in villages across India.
like Usha show women—many of whom are illiterate—how to perform basic tasks online, for example, using voice search to find information that can help them with everything from farming techniques to medical advice. If they want to know how to solve a problem, all they need to do is ask.
Munni performs a voice search to find information easily
Since launching Internet Saathi in July last year, we’ve been active across five states—
. By expanding the program to four new states, including
, we hope to see many more inspiring stories like Usha’s and Munni’s in the months and years ahead. As we work towards helping India close its digital gender divide, we are hopeful that through the use of technology and access to information, many more women will be able to build better lives for themselves and their families.
Posted by Neha Barjatya, Head of Digitizing India programs, Google India
Mobile First World
“I realized the greatest pain in life is to be invisible, to be forgotten”
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Posted by Angie Lau, anchor at Bloomberg Television Asia and President, Asian American Journalists Association, AAJA-Asia Chapter
The phrase in the headline is what motivated this year’s winner of the AAJA Asia Google Digital Journalism Student Award:
Bobby C. Chan
It’s the second year for AAJA Asia’s awards for innovative mobile and digital storytelling in our region. This year, we wanted to support the work of journalists-to-be, encourage and provide a platform to help these young future professionals find an audience. We didn’t impose any specific parameters, we simply encouraged undergraduate students to unleash their creativity. The AAJA Asia’s panel of veteran journalists from across Asia and the U.S. chose Bobby and his team for
Its text, photos, videos, infographics, illustration and podcasts all shed light from different angles on the challenges facing underprivileged children in a Hong Kong neighborhood notorious for its sex trade and drug trafficking.
“Spending 40 days with these street children, I realized that the greatest pain in life is to be invisible, is to be forgotten,” said Bobby. “Winning this award reminds me what a privilege it is, as a journalist, to be heard, and to have a voice that reflects the truth. I want to thank all the children and families who welcomed me into their world.”
Bobby C. Chan
accepts the award from Angie Lau and Google’s Ksenia Duxfield-Karyakina
Two months after Street Wonder began circulating online, Bobby’s team received a phone call from Disneyland Hong Kong, saying it would give hundreds of VIP tickets for the street children in Yau Tsim Mong district to visit the theme park for a weekend in March 2016.
Street kids and the team behind Streetwonder.org go on a trip to Disneyland Hong Kong
Shortly after that, a Hong-Kong-based angel investor shared with Bobby her wish to set up a foundation and campaign for the street children. Later, she revealed that she too had once been a street child in Mongkok.
"It was never our goal to have these stories to reach this level of impact," says Bobby, "rather, it is a simple mission we embody as aspiring journalists to shed light into the dark. We are beyond grateful that this digital story has come to light in the AAJA-Asia Google Digital Journalism Award."
As part of his award, Bobby will attend this year’s Society of Publishers Award (SPOA) Gala Dinner and represent his region at a Global Editors Network summit in Vienna next year. Bobby will also join this year’s Google News Lab Asia Summit in Tokyo in the end of June to share his experience on digital skills and education for young journalist professionals across the region.
Explore history, beaches, and tea with new Street View imagery of Bangladesh
Thursday, June 9, 2016
After bringing you
Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna on Street View
last year, you can now explore even more of
with today’s launch of new Street View imagery from Barisal, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Rangpur, as well as 63 new Special Collects. From the
winding rivers in the south
, to the
lush greenery of the north
, this new collection lets you experience the beauty, history and diversity of Bangladesh right from the palm of your hand.
Home to magnificent architecture spanning thousands of years, you can explore Bangladesh's Mughal heritage at Dhaka’s
, see a blend of Mughal and European design at
, or take a walk around the ancient
Paharpur Badalgachhi Upazila
Dhaka’s majestic Lalbagh Fort sits on the banks of the Buriganga river overlooking old Dhaka city
Take a virtual stroll with the science students around the Curzon Hall grounds
One of the country’s most important archeological sites, Somapura Mahavihara was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985
Bangladesh is one of the world’s most important centers of
, and the new Street View imagery can show you how the perfect brew is grown at the
Bangladesh Tea Research Institute
As you wander through the verdant fields of the Bangladesh Tea Research Institute, you might just discover the country’s very first tea garden the “Malni chho ra”
Continue your adventures in nature by walking along the beach at
St Martin's Island
, or by checking out some of the exotic and rare plants at the
This sleeping fishing spot in the northeast of the Bay of Bengal has become an increasingly popular tourist spot
The Botanical Garden houses nearly 50,000 species of trees, herbs, and shrubs including a large collection of aquatic plants
We hope that visiting Bangladesh with Google Maps (available on
) will inspire a deeper appreciation for the beauty and history of this beautiful country around the world. Whether you continue
your journey in Google Maps
or are inspired to visit in person, we invite you to enjoy visiting the Land of the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Posted by Nishant Nair, Program Manager, Google Asia Pacific Street View Operations
Education and research
Mobile First World
Tap. Pay. Islandwide: Android Pay arrives in Singa...
Now you can find the butcher, the baker and the yu...
India’s saathis bring the Internet to life for tho...
“I realized the greatest pain in life is to be inv...
Explore history, beaches, and tea with new Street ...
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