Google on Thursday announced several new updates and proposed features to make the user experience more profound and interesting.
The new updates and features, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, are to make YouTube, Search and Maps more useful and relevant to users.
Designed from the ground up, YouTube Go lets you discover, save and share videos you love in a way that’s transparent about the size of downloads. Designed to be “offline” first, the app improves the experience of watching videos on a slower network and gives control over the amount of data used streaming or saving videos.
It’s a full YouTube experience, with fresh and relevant video recommendations tailored to your preferences and the ability to share videos quickly and easily with friends nearby. In June, Nigeria became the second country where we started actively testing YouTube Go. Later this year, we’ll be expanding this to a beta launch of the app, available to all Nigerian users.
Street View in Google Maps
Street View takes Google Maps to a new level, allowing users to visually explore and navigate a neighbourhood through panoramic street-level photographs.
It has up to 10,000 kilometers of imagery, including the most important historic roads in Lagos. Users can virtually drive along the Carter Bridge to the National Stadium or across the Eko Bridge, down to the Marina—all on a smartphone.
Street View imagery appears as the lowest zoom level in Google Maps. To access the images, zoom into the lowest level on Google Maps or you can drag the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a street outlined in blue. You can move up and down streets, or look around in 360 degree panoramas.
Faster web results
When you’re on a 2G-like connection or using a low storage device, pages can take a long time to load. We previously launched a feature that streamlines search results so they load with less data and at high speed. Today we’re extending that feature to streamline websites you reach from search results, so that they load with 90 percent less data and five times faster, even on low storage devices.
Search Lite streamlines search results and websites down to their essentials so they load with less data and at high speed, even on devices with low RAM. Nigerians can expect their searches to load five times faster and use 90% less data from now on.
Sometimes connectivity isn’t ideal, and search results just won’t load. By the time they do, you’ve likely forgotten about the search or the opportunity has passed. With Background Retry, the Google app will notify you with the results of search queries that failed due to poor connectivity once your device regains its connection.
Along with making Google search easy to access on any device and network, we’re also working to make it easy to access when you’re not in the Google app – for instance if you’re chatting to a friend about your dinner plans and they ask for the restaurant address. Ordinarily you’d need to go from your messaging app to the Google app to search for the address, copy it, go back to your messaging app, paste it, finally hit send. With Google’s new keyboard – Gboard – you can search from your keyboard, no matter what app you’re in, just by hitting the Google button.
Posts on Google makes it possible for musicians, entertainers and in the future other public figures to post updates, images and videos directly on Google, so when you search for them you can get all this information straight from them. Though we’re just getting started, a few of the most popular Nigerian musicians are already with us. Following the US and Brazil, Nigeria is now the third country where we’ve made this feature available.
Another area recent improvement to Search to help you stay up to date on your interests is the Feed. You can find the feed on the Google app homepage. It helps you discover relevant and useful content and articles from across the web tailored to your interests. This collection of recommendations is constantly being refreshed, and gets smarter the more you use it, keeping you in the know based on your interests and Google history.
Local Health Search
We want to help people across all their journeys, and health is a topic we care deeply about. We see a high volume of searches in this area globally – 1 in 20 searches are from people looking for vital information including symptoms and treatments for various conditions. Nigeria is no exception and as a result will be one of the first countries that will get locally tailored health search results later this year. By the end of 2017, we will launch over 800 knowledge cards detailing common symptoms and treatments for the most prevalent health conditions in Nigeria To do this, we’ve partnered with the University of Ibadan and worked closely with them for the last year and a half to ensure that every answer has been reviewed by Nigerian doctors for local relevance and accuracy.
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