Google Bolo App For Kids Wants to Help With Hindi & English Skills

Google’s latest app in India caters to kids and helps in improving their reading skills with help of voice assistant

Published
Tech News
2 min read
Google Bolo app has been made for consumers in India.
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Google on Wednesday launched a free app called "Bolo" for kids that helps primary grade children in improving their Hindi and English reading skills. For this, the app supports built-in voice assistant (they call her reading buddy) ‘Diya’ which has a voice similar to that of Google Assistant.

Launched in India first, the app is designed to work offline and Google says that Diya has been engineered to encourages, explain, and correct a child, while they are reading.

Google said it would not collect any data on children through the app and it would not have any advertisement.

"Nothing is ever sent to Google through the app - not even the voice samples," Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India, told IANS, adding that the app is meant for just 10-15 minutes of daily use.

Kashyap added that because the app works offline, there is less chance that children would get distracted and they would start doing something else online.

All the reading material on the app is completely free and the initial catalogue from Storyweaver.org.in includes 50 stories in Hindi and 40 in English, Google said, adding that it plans to add more stories soon.

Bolo app is listed as ‘unreleased’ on Google Play Store.
Bolo app is listed as ‘unreleased’ on Google Play Store.
(Photo: The Quint)

Bolo app will work on phones with Android 4.4 KitKat and higher but in order to make use of the voice assistant Diya, users will have to let the app access their phone’s microphone.

Diya, the voice assistant is there to help kids with their reading.
Diya, the voice assistant is there to help kids with their reading.
(Photo: The Quint)

Google said it has been piloting Bolo with over 900 children in 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh with the help of ASER Centre, a research and assessment unit of Pratham Education Foundation.

As per the ASER 2018 report, of all the students enrolled in grade 5 in rural India, only about half can confidently read a grade 2 level textbook. Lack of reading ability can significantly impact further education, and ultimately the children’s ability to realise their full potential.
You can even check out games, browse through content in English and Hindu for now.
You can even check out games, browse through content in English and Hindu for now.
(Photo: The Quint)

With the app, 64 percent of children showed an improvement in reading proficiency in just three months, it added. With this being an India-first product, one can expect more local languages to be added to the platform, helping Google expand its userbase for Bolo and help it get better.

(With inputs from IANS)

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