Asia Pacific Blog
Google and the Internet from .in to .au
Pim Thai Dai Laew: You can now type in Thai!
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Typing on a keyboard in English and other Latin script-based languages is pretty straightforward. However things get a little more complicated for languages like Thai which has 44 consonants, 19 vowels, a silencer and 4 tone marks which are all part of the alphabet.
With more than twice as many characters as English, which has just 21 consonants and 5 vowels, it’s no wonder that typos are more common on a Thai keyboard than on an English QWERTY keyboard. For a start, how
you manage to remember where all the different keys are?!
For this reason, lots of people in Thailand use a QWERTY keyboard and type phonetically using Latin characters. This style of typing even has a name, “Karaoke Thai” which is a reference to the Latin-based subtitles of Thai singalong songs. Karaoke Thai is a great workaround for music videos, but it’s not necessarily the best solution for typing an email, or writing a blog.
You can now type in Thai more easily with the launch of the new
Thai transliteration keyboard
. Available in Chrome as well as
in other browsers, the new keyboard gives you a way to type phonetically, converting your keyboard inputs into Thai words and Thai letters.
Not only will your typing appear in Thai, but it will also require fewer taps. For example, typing the popular celebrity ณเดชน์ (pronounced “Nadet”), would have required 8 taps on a Thai keyboard. Now on the new Thai transliteration keyboard, it requires just 5 taps (nadet or naded).
“Karaoke Thai” for your web browser, but with actual Thai output.
“Have you tried the Thai Karaoke Keyboard?",
"Trying it out now",
"How is it?",
Typing phonetically isn’t just good news for people who are in a hurry to get their message across, it’s also helpful to people who are new to the Thai language because they can type according to what they hear, rather than needing to know every character in the Thai alphabet. What’s more, the keyboard takes care of spelling errors by providing spelling suggestions from our dictionary.
Excited to try out the new keyboard? You’re just a few clicks away:
If you’re a Chrome user, just download the Google Input Tools extension
. Select “
Add to Chrome
”, then click on “
” until you find "
[ก] Thai - ภาษาไทย
It’s also available to
users on any browser.
Go on, try it out by typing “Pim Thai Dai Laew”. That’s “พิมพ์ไทยได้แล้ว”, or “I can now type in Thai” :)
Posted by Pete Nuchanatanon, Head of Marketing, Google Thailand
Thailand's silver and gold glitter on YouTube
Thursday, May 12, 2016
In Bangkok today we’re celebrating some of Thailand’s favorite YouTube stars and recognizing their success with
Silver and Gold Play Buttons
. The Thai creator community is one of the world’s most vibrant, boasting over 300 Silver Button channels (those with over 100,000 subscribers), and over 20 Gold Button channels (those with over one million subscribers).
Meet some of those who received their Buttons at the opening of our first ever YouTube Pop-Up Space in Asia today, right here in Bangkok:
Clockwise from top left: TubtimTube (247K subscribers), ink & fern from 108Life (376K subscribers), NdMikki Holic (106K subscribers), Zbingz (1.3M subscribers)
From entertainer idol
, from foodie
to beauty guru
, YouTube has provided them with a platform to express themselves and reach audiences here in Thailand and around the world. They’ve all helped YouTube’s popularity skyrocket since it officially launched here just two years ago, moving Thailand into the top 10 countries globally in terms of watchtime, and growing at an astounding pace of 70% every year.
With such an active creator community here, we’ve decided to open a YouTube Pop-up Space in Bangkok. These Pop-up facilities bring a taste of the nine permanent
around the world, giving YouTube creators a place to learn, connect, and create more high quality videos.
The YouTube Pop-up Space Bangkok opens in Bangkok today and includes a green room. Gaming creator Zbingz shot her latest video in the YouTube Pop-up Space Bangkok.
These studios will be free for Thai creators to use from May 12 to May 14, at G Village Co-Creation Hub, Bangkok. In addition to access to state-of-the-art production facilities, creators will get to participate in happy hours, collaboration event, and workshops about how to improve their channels.
If you didn’t get a chance to book production space this time, don’t worry: Pop-up Space is coming back to Bangkok in the week of August 22. Follow the latest updates about YouTube Pop-up Space Bangkok at #YouTubeSpaceBKK to stay informed of the latest news about activities and events.
Posted by David Macdonald, Head of YouTube Spaces Asia Pacific, who recently watched
สายย่อ - Bie The Ska [OFFICIAL MV] #สายย่อ #Saiyor
300,000 logging in each week from 15 railway stations across India
Thursday, May 12, 2016
, the gateway to India’s easternmost states, has just became the 15th train station in India to offer our free, high-speed Wi-Fi service. The other stations that have just come online include
, following quickly on the heels of the
nine stations announced last month
As the network has expanded, the number of people logging in has as well – we’re thrilled that more than 300,000 people are now using this high-speed Wi-Fi each week.
But we’re not stopping there. Based on the incredible demand we’ve seen at Mumbai Central, the first station that
came online in January
, we’re now also working with RailTel and Indian Railways to extend the project to cover 17 of the busiest suburban stations across Mumbai, stations that more than 1.5 million people pass through every day, by the end of this year.
For any Mumbaikars out there, these stations will include
Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus
Here’s an updated map of the stations that now have Wi-Fi, and the stations we plan to reach by the end of the year:
Details about how to use the service are
, and keep watching this space as we continue to expand to more and more stations across the country.
Posted by Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Programs, Google India
Pay for Google Play content in India through direct carrier billing with Idea Cellular
Thursday, May 5, 2016
India is the latest place where we’re making
direct carrier billing
, or DCB, available. Working together with
, we’re helping to make it easier for over 150 million Indians to pay for the content they want on Google Play. In a country where the vast majority of people don’t have access to credit cards, enabling Idea Cellular’s subscribers to charge their Play purchases to their pre- or post-paid phone bills will help bring more people closer to the best apps, games and movies.
Direct carrier billing is now available in 41 countries around the world and we now have 100 DCB partners
We’ve seen tremendous growth in the app ecosystem wherever we’ve supported DCB. In Indonesia, for example, the number of people who make app and in-app purchases has quadrupled since we launched DCB there in March 2015. Payment options like DCB create immense opportunities for app developers in India, where nearly 1 in 3 Indians own a smartphone today, but less than 3% of the population use credit cards.
I’ve heard from many developers like Bangalore-based Moonfrog Labs, who build games especially for players in India. Moonfrog is excited that millions of Indians can now more easily make micro-payments for their favorite in-app purchases, games, movies and apps. Together with a
lower minimum purchase price for apps
on Google Play and
Google Play pre-paid vouchers
available in India, developers will be able to reach even more users and continue to build successful businesses on the platform.
Posted by Alistair Pott, Product Manager, Google Play
High-speed public Wi-Fi rolls into nine more train stations across India
Friday, April 15, 2016
If you’re one of the 1.5 million people who travel through
train stations everyday, you’re in luck! While you wait for your train, you can now look forward to free high-speed Wi-Fi, hopefully making that wait a bit more enjoyable and productive.
These 9 stations join the
first we brought online in January, Mumbai Central
, where more than 100,000 people are already logging into the high-speed Wi-Fi every week. We hope that people passing through these first 10 stations will enjoy being able to easily stream (or
) an HD video, research their destination, or download a new book or game for their journey ahead.
Here are a few shots around some of the stations that are now online:
It’s still early days, but we’re really happy about this progress towards
making high-speed Wi-Fi available to more than 10 million Indians every day
. In the months ahead, we’ll continue to work in close partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel, to reach 90 more stations this year, and eventually 400 spanning the whole of India.
Here you can see where we’re at on the journey. The stations that now have Wi-Fi are in bold, the additional markers show the rest of the stations we plan to reach this year:
If you have any questions about how to use the service, the
details are explained here
. Otherwise, watch this space for updates as we expand this service, hopefully reaching a station near you soon.
Posted by Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Programs, Google India
T-Series shines bright like a Diamond
Thursday, April 14, 2016
India’s most popular music channel
just hit 10 million subscribers! They’re one of the few YouTube channels globally to reach this level, and to acknowledge it, they’ll be awarded a nifty
Diamond Play Button
for their trophy case. On the way, T-Series has gained more than 7.7 billion views, with more than 400,000
How did they get here, you ask?
Since T-Series started their YouTube channel in 2011, they’ve embraced the change in the way people listen to music, in part by adapting their content for people across a spectrum of connectivity. For example: for people who worry about data consumption, they make lyric-and-audio-only videos, or tracks with album art. Of course, they also have high definition music videos for those who want that option. Their focus on multiple formats has helped them spread a wider net across their audiences. T-Series has also built a strong base of loyal fans by staying in conversation with them on social media.
T-Series also recognize that anybody, anywhere can be a fan of their music. By putting their music on YouTube’s global platform, they have reached viewers worldwide. In fact, adding subtitles and lyric videos have helped them drive a viewership where more than 60% of views are from overseas.
T-Series has also used YouTube as a place to spot new talent.
are two musicians who started on YouTube that T-Series signed and are now established singing stars. In 2014 T-Series held a cover song contest, from which they
on YouTube, who went from singing in her bedroom in New Zealand to
performing on the stage of YouTube FanFest in Mumbai
To celebrate their diamond milestone, we thought we’d look back at some of their
most popular videos of all time
Dheere Dheere Se Meri Zindagi Video Song (OFFICIAL) Hrithik Roshan, Sonam Kapoor | Yo Yo Honey Singh
With over 100 million views, this video was an exclusive web release and brings together one of the most popular rap artists of India, Honey Singh with movie superstars Sonam Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan. It was remixed recreated to celebrate 25 years of Aashiqui, a classic movie from the 90s which was co-produced by T-Series and is among the most popular Bollywood music soundtracks of all time.
“Tum Hi Ho" Aashiqui 2 Full Song With Lyrics | Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor
Bollywood is not just about hip-busting dance numbers: this soulful melody is a love song about a lover’s plea and shares how life is about “just you.”
was released in 2013 as a follow-up to the 1990 hit movie
"Subha Hone Na De Full Song" | Desi Boyz | Akshay Kumar | John Abraham
This smash hit is the most popular song from the film
and have ruled party airwaves since its release in 2011. It features A-list Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar, John Abraham and Deepika Padukone.
Posted by Tony Elison, Head of Music Partnerships for YouTube Asia-Pacific, who recently watched
BOL DO NA ZARA Video Song
Helping Chinese entrepreneurs grow and go global
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Editor’s note: This post comes from Bob Zheng, Founder of
, a network of tech hubs supporting China based entrepreneurs in Beijing and Shanghai.
China, with a population of over 1.3 billion, has one of the world's most vibrant startup ecosystems. There are more ‘unicorns’ (private companies valued at more than US$1 billion) in
than anywhere else in the world other than Silicon Valley. But the accelerating pace of innovation coming from China doesn’t end with the well known companies, like Didi Chuxing and Xiaomi. There is a rapidly expanding group of new disruptors, small local startups growing, trying new things, and increasingly looking for ways to go global. These are the entrepreneurs we’re passionate about supporting on their journey.
That’s why we’re so thrilled to be joining the global
Google for Entrepreneurs partner network
today, as the first member from China. With this tremendous support from Google, in the form of financial resources and expertise, we hope to make the journey for these Chinese entrepreneurs into larger domestic and increasingly international markets a little quicker and a lot more successful.
As China’s earliest established and largest domestic co-working space, our mission at People Squared has been to create spaces that connect entrepreneurs. We have 20 spaces spread throughout Shanghai and Beijing, including a new space in ZhongGuanCun. Here are a few pics of what these spaces look like:
Since 2010, we have supported more than 10,000 members, and have become the proud home-base for many well known startups, including Fotoplace, Xiaozhu, Mofang, Get, Where to go Weekend and many more. So far, the 300 teams based at People Squared have raised more than US$300 million.
We’ve been working with great partners to help make this happen. At our ‘Hero Center’ space in Shanghai, for example, we work with organizations like Xinchejian, China Accelerator and Techyizu to establish a community that supports and engages the broader startup ecosystem. But we’d like to become the place where Chinese entrepreneurs start on a journey towards growing not just in China, but globally as well.
As a member of the Google for Entrepreneurs partner network now, we think we are well on the way. We’re super excited to announce that effective immediately our community will have access to work from more than 25 member spaces globally, from
, including Google’s 6
. They will also have access to a host of great programs Google runs for entrepreneurs, such as
Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange
, a series of week-long, vertically-specific global immersion programs aimed at helping startups gain access into new markets and insights.
This is an important opportunity for us and our members to learn from and collaborate with the best organizations helping startups globally. We can’t wait to see what kind of impact it will have on our community and the local startup ecosystem.
Posted by Bob Zheng, Founder of People Squared
Laying the foundation for renewable energy certification programs in Asia
Thursday, April 7, 2016
At Google, we’ve made a
long term commitment
to power 100% of our operations with renewable energy. To that end, we’ve
more than 2 gigawatts of renewable energy to date, making us the world’s largest non-utility purchaser of renewables.
– including our facilities in
that help us provide people in Asia with faster, more reliable access to our tools and services – make up the majority of our electricity consumption. We're
to power all of our data centers around the world with renewable energy, but one of the challenges we face in Asia is that effective renewable energy certification programs simply aren’t available.
To help address this, we’re announcing today that we’re providing seed funding to the
Center for Resource Solutions
(CRS) to begin laying the groundwork to establish such programs across Asia, starting in Taiwan. They have over 20 years of experience developing and operating renewable energy certification programs.
These kinds of programs are key in helping companies like Google actually know that the power we are buying comes from a renewable source. They work by “tagging” each MWh of energy generated from a source like wind or solar as renewable, which creates a renewable energy certificate (“REC”). This is especially important to us in Taiwan, where we are actively looking to purchase renewable energy for our data center.
below from CRS explains how this works for some customers. In Google’s case, we buy both the physical power and the RECs associated with that power, providing us with both the financial benefits of renewable energy and the assurance that the electricity we are buying is in fact renewable.
It may not sound like much, but these programs are critical to creating well-functioning voluntary renewable energy markets. For the dozens of Fortune 100 and Global 100 companies that have
renewable energy commitments
, RECs are a critical instrument to ensuring that renewable energy purchasing claims are accurate and verifiable. They have played a key role in enabling companies in the United States to grow their renewable energy purchasing from about 100 MW in 2012 to over
3,000 MW last year
With this support from Google, CRS will begin examining how best to structure these programs across Asia to create robust voluntary renewable energy markets. They will also begin building a coalition of international stakeholders from the public, private, and NGO sectors to drive these efforts forward.
Organizations interested in supporting these efforts may get
more information here
Posted by Marsden Hanna, Global Energy Policy and Strategy
Explore the wonders of Thailand with Street View
Monday, March 28, 2016
Nestled in northern Thailand,
Sukhothai Historical Park
was once the capital of ancient Siam. Sukhothai means “dawn of happiness”, and now you too can explore this happy place from the palm of your hand with Google Maps. Today, the park joins over 150 new places and national treasures that are now available in 360-degree panoramic imagery on Google Street View.
From ancient temples, to tropical beaches, to strawberry plantations and rice terraces, this new Street View collection showcases the beauty and diversity of The Kingdom. Our intrepid trekker walked 500 kilometers with a heavy backpack across the length and breadth of the country to capture images of places like this:
Trekking around the Chai Watthanaram Temple at Ayutthaya Historical Park in Central Thailand
Temple visits are a must for any visitor to Thailand.
Now you can wander virtually through the ruins of the
Chai Watthanaram Temple
and pay your virtual respects to Buddha
from behind ancient tree roots at the Ayutthaya Historical Park. See ancient Khmer ruins at
Phanom Rung National Park
, or get up close to the intricate Buddhist and Hindu sculptures at the
The Sanctuary of Truth
— a temple made entirely of wood, just outside Bangkok.
You can also explore the Chinese architecture of the Viharn Sien Chinese Cultural and Religion Museum.
Or take a whirlwind tour around Thailand’s most famous monuments and architectural attractions all in one place at
. Dubbed the world's largest outdoor museum,
the park is shaped like Thailand
and is home to monuments of
The Old Market Town
The Pavilion of the Enlightened
For good fortune, why not head over to the Erawan Museum just outside the capital? There you’ll find a giant Erawan statue, a mythological three-headed elephant, filled with antiquities and artifacts.
Our trekker also found some real elephants on his travels, too. As well as bringing
the 'retirement home' for elephants to Street View,
we also had a chance to say hi to this big feller while capturing the
Thai Thani Art & Culture Village
in Eastern Thailand.
Trekker says hi to the elephants at the Thai Thani Art & Culture Village
For something a little cooler, head north to Chiang Mai where you can see mist rolling over the
2000 Tea Plantation
and the Ban Nor Lae Village
Those strawberry fields really do feel like forever when you’re carrying the trekker:
No trip to Thailand is complete without a tour of The Kingdom’s stunning southern beaches. You can laze around Koh Samui’s
white stretches of sand
, take in the lagoons, cliffs and islets of
Hin Ta Hin Yai
Koh Nang Yuan
, or find
a quiet grotto
to watch the boats go by. There’s no shortage of inspiration for your next diving or beach get away.
Taking in the views at Koh Nang Yuan
Whether you continue your journey in
or are inspired to visit in person, we invite you to enjoy exploring the wonders of Thailand. We hope that visiting The Kingdom with Google Maps (available on
) will inspire a deeper appreciation for the beauty and history of this beautiful country.
Posted by Cynthia Wei, Program Manager, Google Street View
Ayubowan Sri Lanka!
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
When the explorer
visited Sri Lanka in 1265, he described it as “
the finest island of its size in all the world
.” Tourists from around the world agree, as it’s become an increasingly popular travel destination, especially for those who want to explore the country’s
. Now even more people around the world will be able to discover some of the jewels that this fine island has to offer — minus the treacherous sea voyage — with Street View.
From the hustle and bustle of
, to the
cool tea plantation hills
, and onwards to the sandy white beaches, Sri Lanka is as beautiful as it is diverse. To capture this imagery, we drove close to 50,000 kilometers across every state and province so that you can virtually explore this beautiful landscape from coast to coast.
Start your tour — perhaps with a cup of Ceylon tea in hand — on the winding
Beragala-Hali Ela Highway.
Home to many of the world’s best brews, you’ll be able to see people growing, picking and packing tea among the lush rolling hills along the way.
The Bergala tea estates on the Beragala-Hali Ela Highway
For even more majestic jungle and some mountain views, take a tour along the country’s first modern highway — the
. Starting in Sri Lanka’s biggest city, you will journey through some spectacular scenery as you head inland to Kandy where you can see the
relic of the tooth of Buddha
You’ll see hills, jungle and many a three-wheeler on the Colombo-Kandy road
You can then take virtual leap across the island to the Kandy-Jaffna highway, which heads out to the coast and down to the
Elephant Pass Causeway
. While you may not see any elephants, this stretch of road connecting North and South Sri Lanka gives you a 360 degree view of the Indian Ocean on either side of the road.
The Elephant Pass Causeway is surrounded by the Indian Ocean
While you’re on the coast why not check out
? This popular surfing spot in the country’s southeast is renowned for its amazing point break. If you prefer spending time on the sand rather than on a board, the sleepy little fishing village of
on the northern tip of the island has some pristine beaches to explore.
Point Pedro is home to many remote beaches
Once you’ve taken in Sri Lanka’s natural beauty, you might be ready to take in some culture. Head north to Anuradhapura, and catch a glimpse of the ancient
. Believed to have
been visited by the Buddha himself
, it was built in 140 B.C. and today remains one of the world’s tallest monuments, standing at over 100 meters.
The ancient Ruwanwelisaya Stupa peaks out from behind the trees
Why not complete your tour by heading back to Colombo where you can see
Old Parliament House
. Built during the British colonial era, it is home to the first democratic parliament, and the Independence Memorial Hall which commemorates Sri Lanka’s independence from British rule 1948.
Street View cars parked at the Independence Avenue
We hope that visiting Sri Lanka with Google Maps (available on
) will inspire a deeper appreciation for the beauty and history of this beautiful country. Whether you continue your
journey in Google Maps
or are inspired to visit in person, we invite you to enjoy the Land of Lions.
Posted by Nishant Nair, Program Manager, APAC Street View Operations
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Pim Thai Dai Laew: You can now type in Thai!
Thailand's silver and gold glitter on YouTube
300,000 logging in each week from 15 railway stati...
Pay for Google Play content in India through direc...
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