Google held its first-ever App Excellence summit in Bengaluru today, using it as a platform to announce a new Made for India app program. The scheme is meant to foster the growth of locally-made applications in the country by dedicating an entire section of the Play Store to them for a limited period of time, serving as the next step in the company’s Build for Billions initiative.
Made for India is supposed to help people find apps which are relevant to them and optimized specifically for their needs, while simultaneously helping developers find an audience. According to Google Play’s Head of Business Development Kunal Soni, more Indians are going online and more devices are getting cheaper.
However, 2G connections still apparently accounted for 70% of mobile internet use in the first half of the year. Moreover, Soni claims most smartphones being sold in India belong to the sub-$100 (approx Rs 6500) entry-level category. Both these factors combined can hamper user experience when it comes to apps which require a lot of processing power and data.
Developers in India will thus have to keep these constraints in mind while building their apps, taking into consideration aspects like connectivity, device compatibility, battery drain, content, and commerce. Soni also believes applications should have useful offline content.
Developers can now apply to Made for India to see whether their apps meet these requirements. As an incentive, Google Play’s Director of Business Development Purnima Kochikar mentioned that it has seen a 150% increase year-over-year in terms of applications installed and a 3x increase in app spending in India.
You can apply for Google’s Made for India program here.