Google Areo Hyperlocal App Launched in India; Bundles Bill Payments, Food Delivery, Local Services and More
Google has quietly launched the new Areo app on Google Play in India, without any official statement regarding its release. Areo is a local services application that allows you to pay bills, order food, call a plumber to fix your sink, or have a beautician come over to give you a facial.
And although Google has the contact details of all these different services through the database it builds for Google Maps, it's not using its own muscle to make this work. Instead, it has used the Google Areo app to bundle together different services. So, for example, in the food delivery section you can flip between Freshmenu, Faasos, and Box8. For other categories such as beauty and repairs, UrbanClap appears to be the main services provider at present.
At the time of launch, the new Areo app supported services in parts of Delhi Mumbai and parts of Bengaluru, but naturally, this will change quickly. In Bengaluru's HSR Layout, however, these four services were the only providers available on the app, as of Thursday morning.
How to use Google Areo app
Using the new Google app is a pretty straightforward experience. Install it from Google Play onto your phone, and the very first screen will show you a map view, and ask you to confirm your location.
Once you've made sure that the arrow is pointing to the right place, just tap on Save Location, and you're taken to the next screen which shows the various services available via Google Areo app.
Here, you can tap on the different categories - Food delivery, Beauty, Home maintenance, and so on - which are represented with large, easy to understand tiles along with text.
In food, you will see a carousel showing the different delivery options, and below that, the items. Icons next to the price show where both cash and online payment options are available.
You can add items from multiple providers into the same cart - so you could add some items from Faasos, and some items from Freshmenu, and a facial from UrbanClap, and order them all together in the Areo app. You can pay via credit or debit cards, netbanking, or opt for cash on delivery. Each service would then undertake the delivery as usual.
The overall experience is very simple, and it certainly is a lot simpler than having to go through multiple apps. If Google can add some more services quickly, then Areo has the potential to actually be quite useful.