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Why Google is targeting Kenyans on low-capacity phones – The Star, Kenya

She added, “From Lagos to Nairobi, from Johannesburg to Abuja, we want people to feel like Google understands them and helps make their day a little smarter, easier and better.”

Chaizor explained that products under the Next Billion Users (NBU) initiative is a company-wide drive to make its products and features more relevant to the emerging markets.

Google’s mission has always been to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Chaizor says this will take into account the access challenges experienced by people in Africa.

“Google’s NBU Initiative aims to further its mission of creating a more inclusive internet by creating products and features that are tailored to the needs of people in countries where they experience the internet on a mobile first and have data, network and hardware constraints,” she said.


The eight products are Google Go, Gmail Go, Android Go, Maps Go, YouTube Go, Datally, Files by Google and Google Station.

Google Go is designed specifically to provide a vastly improved and better way to browse the internet. It works perfectly on high-end smartphones as well as for the next billion users, who are coming online with low-end devices with poor connectivity. Google Go is available on Android to users in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

With Gmail Go, users are able to access a light, fast and smart inbox that keeps their messages safe and organised. It allows them to read email both online and offline and includes 15GB of free storage.

Android Go, also referred to as Android Oreo (Go edition), is the slimmed down version of the Android Operating System released for entry-level phones. It provides data savings, great security, and high-end performance on low-end phones.

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Google Maps Go is pre-installed on Android Oreo (Go edition) devices. The app is designed to run quickly and smoothly on devices with limited memory. It allows users to search for and get information about places, get directions, and see what’s near their location.

YouTube Go is designed to tackle challenges faced by YouTube users in countries like Nigeria, such as data costs and connectivity. It enables users to preview videos before they watch them, choose what resolution of videos to watch and share videos instantly without using data.

Datally is a smart and simple app that helps smartphone users understand, control and save mobile data. Datally enables users to track which apps use the most data, switch their data off at certain times (like bedtime) as well as blocking background app refresh and notifications that use data unnecessarily.

Files by Google, formerly known as Files Go, is an app that helps smartphone users manage their files and storage space, find files faster and easily share them with others.

Google Station is a platform that makes it easy for venues, system integrators, businesses and ISPs with access to fibre to set up, maintain and monetise their Wi-Fi networks.


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