Google held their second Google for Kenya event and it was jam packed with a lot of announcement tailored for this market. The event was attended by the media as well as government officials and some of these announcements were in partnership with the government.
New apps for the Kenyan market
Google announced new apps that are targeted for such markets like Kenya. This include Bolo and Gallery Go.
Bolo is a new speech based reading app that helps kids learn how to read in English. It uses Google’s speech recognition and text to speech technology to serve as a tutor for kids and also works offline. It provides individual customized feedback to help improve their reading skills. Google says that Bolo features 30 titles from African authors.
Gallery Go is the new gallery app from Google that brings many of Google Photos features onto a smaller app (10MB). It keeps your photos automatically organized and will help you edit, find and manage your photos even if you’re offline. It is available on Google Play for devices that are running Android 8.1 Oreo or higher. It will also come pre-installed as the gallery app on the Itel S15 or select A55 devices in Kenya.
Google Arts and Culture online exhibition
Some time back, Google announced the Google Arts and Culture App back in 2016 and it was an easy way for you to read about cultures around the world. They have had Kenyan partners as early as 2015 when they introduced a digitized collection of Kenyan artifacts on the Google Cultural Institute website. They also had additional partners who added more collections to the roster.
Well today they announced a huge collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya to digitize Kenyan cultural treasures. They launched their new online exhibition “Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya” and it is quite the interesting collection they have assembled here.
You can even use the Google Arts and Culture app to view the art exhibitions in augmented reality via the app. However, that only applies to Android phones that support AR Core.
You can view over 10,500 high resolution photographs, more than 100 expert curated exhibits and over 60 street views of iconic sites.
The new collection which you can view on the Google Arts and Culture app or at g.co/kenyanculture.
Expanded street view in Kenya
Google has now expanded Street View in Kenya by adding more locations and communities to it.
According to Google, they have done 47,946 km around Kenya on Street view, which is a massive undertaking by the company.
Back in 2015, Google started adding locations in Kenya on Street View by showing some sections of Samburu National Park. They introduced Street View in Nairobi and in some other select locations last year and they have been busy to add more locations to Street View this year.
This year, they had collaborations with partners and local guides to keep Maps updated with local information. Through these partnerships, Google has added nearly 36,000 businesses in Kenya on Maps. They also gave select people mapping cameras to add the photos are used in Street View.
Awarding YouTube Play Buttons to Kenyan Creators
Google usually awards various Play Buttons to YouTube creators that reach 100,000 subscribers, 1 million subscribers, 10 million subscribers, 50 million subscribers and even 100 million subscribers.
Today, Google honored several creators that reached milestones on Youtube. Creators that were honored thanks to their channels hitting over 100,000 subscribers include:
- Sharon Waniz
- Alex Mathenge
- Wabosha Maxine
- Timeless Noel
- MCA Tricky
- Khaligraph Jones
- King Kaka
- WaJesus Family
- Joanna Kinuthia
Churchill was awarded the Gold Play button (the award being in absentia due to this incident) thanks to his channel surpassing the 1 million subscriber mark. This is the second YouTube channel to receive the gold play button after Citizen TV.