By Chiazo Ogbolu
Google has announced introduction of five additional products that would enable internet users to access information with ease.
Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone West Africa, made this known in an interactive session with some internet users including journalists in Lagos on Friday.
Kola-Ogunlade listed the products to include Gboard, Health Knowledge Panel, Movie Showtime, entertainment Archive and Google Post.
He advised internet users to take advantage of the products for more relevance.
According to him, Google built its platforms and products to be globally relevant.
He said that Google introduced Gboard in July to enable sending of messages in dialects including Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa.
He described Gboard as a new keyboard from Google for Android or iPhone.
“If you are like most Nigerians, then you probably have a grandma, uncle or family member that prefers to read messages in Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa.
“The next time you need to type a message on SMS, Whatsapp or any other messaging app, simply click on the Google ‘G’ logo on your keyboard and click on translation and let Gboard do the translation for you.
“No more app switching; just search and send, right from your keyboard. If Gboard is not installed on your phone, you can download it from the Apple store or the Android play store,” he said.
According to the manager, Google introduced the health knowledge panel in the realisation that 20 per cent of searches on it are health-related.
He said that the panel covers up to 800 health conditions.
“You may be worried about a loved one down with malaria. By simply typing ‘Malaria’, Google will show you a health panel with information on malaria symptoms and treatments.
“Google’s health knowledge panels are now accessible to Nigerians and Google has partnered with the University of Ibadan to ensure that answers are reviewed by Nigerian doctors,” he said.
Kola-Ogunlade said that the Google Movie Showtime would enable an internet user to get a list and times for movies showing at a nearby cinema.
“Just type ‘whatmovies are showing at the Ikeja Mall’ into Google, and Google will give a list of movies showing at Ikeja Mall plus the time those movies are showing,” he said.
He added that Google was archiving and getting Nollywood films so that local contents would show on the Google search.
“Simply type the name of the ‘Nollywood movie into search and let Google give you all the information, including the actors,” he said.
According to the manager, Google Post will get more details of what a favourite musician, movie or sports star is up to.
“With Posts on Google, entertainers and businesses can share visible updates directly to Google.
“This means you get your favourite star’s live update alongside your search results when you Google them.
He said that Google announced the availability of Google Posts in Nigeria at Google for Nigeria on July 27, noting that Nigeria was the third country where the feature was made available.
“Some of the country’s popular musicians are already using it. Posts had been available for limited use since January 2016.
“Google Posts allow businesses and individuals to create posts that show up in the knowledge panel on Google Search and Google Maps.
“Posts expire after a week, unless they are event-based, in which case, they expire after the event date,” he said.