On Wednesday, at the third Google for Nigeria event, Google announced new products and features to make it more helpful to more people in Nigeria and across Africa. The announcements include navigation instructions in a Nigerian voice for both motorcycle and car driving modes, new Street View imagery, Gallery Go, Google Go updates, Google Lens and Bolo, and a Nigerian culinary experience from Google Arts and Culture. Google has also partnered with the Nigerian Government to make an online safety curriculum available to all primary and secondary school students in the country, reaching an estimated 56 million Nigerian students every year.
To help make it easier to visually explore places in Nigeria, Google is publishing more panoramic imagery on Street View. Starting with imagery of Lagos two years ago, today Google added Street View imagery of Abuja, Benin City, Enugu and Ibadan – with almost 12 thousand kilometers of roads added.
With the growth of Android, more and more Nigerians have phones that take pictures. But not everyone has access to reliable, high-speed internet or cloud backup to quickly find a photo.
That is why Google has launched Gallery Go – a fast and smart photo gallery designed for users who don’t have a reliable internet connection. Gallery Go brings many of the best features of Google Photos on device, to help them find, edit and manage their photos even when they are offline. The app is only 10MB to keep the phone light and fast, so that you can spend more time capturing memories.
Today, Google announced updates to make Google Go even more useful. The Discover feed has been integrated within Google Go to help people stay in the know with their interests. It provides an ongoing look at the things they care about, like the latest content on their football team, people of interest, music and news stories.
From next week, users will also be able to access the Assistant directly from Google Go in a new Nigerian voice. Using only their voice, they will be able to ask Google to call their mum, play the latest Burna Boy video, or find the best Jollof in town.
Google Lens helps people to find out more about the world around them through their camera and photos. That’s why Google has launched Lens inside Google Go, to help people read, translate, and search the words they see simply by using their camera. Users can open Lens, point it at a sign, and listen to the words read out loud. If they don’t speak the language, they can translate it into their own. Today, Google is also launching support for Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.
Bolo is a speech-based reading app that helps kids learn how to read in English. It encourages them to read out loud and then provides individual, customized feedback to help improve their reading capabilities. We launched Bolo in India earlier this year and today, we’re bringing it to Nigeria and Ghana.
Google Arts & Culture has cooked up a project, ‘Come Chop Bellefull: A Taste of Nigeria’, which pays tribute to Nigeria’s vibrant and diverse food culture. People across the world can now explore Nigerian regional cooking and culture through 2,000 high-resolution images and 30 stories created in collaboration with The Centenary Project at the Pan-Atlantic University.
In 2017 Google committed to train 10 million people in Africa on digital skills over 5 years. To date, 4M Africans have been trained. Google has also trained 15,000 developers and awarded 33,000 scholarships to help African developers become certified on Android, Web, and Cloud technologies. 35 startups have graduated through the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program and, last year, Google awarded $6-million to 36 non-profit organizations across Africa through the Google Impact Challenge.
Building on this, Google is committing an additional $4 million to support youth empowerment, gender equality and agriculture, alongside piloting new initiatives to power the social impact ecosystem and promote research on what the future of work looks like for African youth.
Says Google Nigeria country director Juliet Ehimaun Chiazor: “Every day, people in Nigeria, Africa and around the world turn to Google for help. We hope that the products and updates we’re announcing today will make Google even more helpful for fueling people’s hustles and getting things done. We remain committed to bringing the transformational power of technology to everyone in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”