Ola finds a way with Google to open up rural India

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India’s biggest taxi app Ola is hoping to get a lot bigger, linking up with Google to launch a Progressive Web App which will help it reach millions more users in India.

The tie-up was announced at this week’s Google’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are intended to offer a native app experience using less data and requiring less strong signals. For Ola, this means that its service will be more easily accessible in secondary cities and rural areas, effectively opening up hundreds of new markets.

The PWA will work for drivers as well as customers.

Ola said that while smartphone penetration in India is increasing, many people are using low-end devices with limited connectivity. Its PWA consumes only 50KB on first download, and 10KB on subsequent downloads and “operates at speed on 2G networks.” It also connects with Ola Money and other Ola services.

It is the first ride-hailing  PWA in APAC, Ola claims.

Rahul Roy-chowdhury, VP Product Management – Chrome, Google said in a a statement:

“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.”

Related reading from Tnooz:
A few things to know about Progressive Web Apps and travel (June 2016)

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