If you are planning to travel for Christmas or you prefer to spend the holiday with your loved ones at any location, whatever your decision is, you can make the most of your holiday with the Google App.
Recently, Paul Solomon, Google PR manager, Africa and Middle East, was with a team of journalists (print and electronic) and bloggers from different countries in Africa to Nairobi, Kenya to have a first-hand experience of how to put the Google App to test. Tagged #GoogleinNairobi the two-day holiday took journalists around top tourists’ sites in Nairobi.
Solomon says the idea for the event came when the Google team met in Nairobi about a year and a half ago. “The concept is six months in the making,” he explains. “There are about half a billion internet users in the world. We want to see how our products can make life easier and richer. We want to show how Google App can enhance travel experience, give consumers the information they need before they ask for it, navigate areas with the apps, taking and sharing photos and using Google translates among other apps.”
From experience, the Google App is the perfect travel assistant anyone could ask for. You can easily have Google App installed on both Android of iPhone. This can help you manage and plan your travel. It will also give the right information at the right time.
The Google Voice Search will come in handy whenever you need any information about anything. “The Voice Search allows you ask questions and get answers in natural language, which is perfect for travelling. With the Voice Search, you don’t have to struggle to type while running to catch your plane or squint your eyes while trying to read from your phone in the sun, just say: ‘Okay Google or tap the microphone icon to begin. For instance, if you are concerned about what clothes to pack while travelling, just ask Google: “Will I need a raincoat in Nairobi on Monday?” you will receive an instant spoken answer,” explains Solomon.
Solomon says further that on the Google App is Google Now, Google’s personal assistant. “If you opt for Google Now, we will offer you useful information based on your content and pull relevant information from your Gmail account and Google calendar to make your life easier.”
According to him, getting flight confirmation sent to your Gmail account, Google will bring forward a card a day or two before your trip with the status of your flight, what terminal you need to go to, and when you should leave for the airport to get there on time. If there is a delay on your flights, you will receive a notification so you can amend your travel plans.
“You will also see the weather at your destination, and your boarding pass may appear on your phone depending on the airline. It will help you not to fumble with the self-service check-in terminals, all you need to do is just go thorough to the gate with ease,” Solomon added.
And of course, Google Translate helps you break the language barrier anywhere you travel to around the world. I had a magical experience translating words in German by just placing the phone just in front of the word and it was automatically translated to English. I never had to type in the word.
“Google also working on having local languages like Yoruba and Hausa translated automatically,” said Taiwo, Google communication manager in Nigeria.
With Google Calendar, you can be assured that your calendar will be up to date during your stay at your preferred destination with your planned activities. Google App can navigate you from place to place and you will never have to worry about being late for an activity.
“When you are travelling,” adds Solomon, Google brings forward a time at home card, currency converter card, and a useful local phrases card. When you land in at your destination, swipe downward to refresh and some useful cards like these will magically appear.”
In addition to Google Maps, Street View enables you have a 360 degree street level images of thousands of cities, tourist hotspots and places of interest throughout the world.
Evans Arabu, Geo Specialist, Google Sub-Sahara Africa says Google is working assiduously with governments of different countries to get actual images of streets to enable users of Google Street View have a more personal experience to complement the use of the Google Map.
“In Kenya, you can check out images of some of the tourists’ sites before you hit the road,” he says. “Google Earth was invited by the Samburu National Reserve to bring Street View Trekker into the Reserve and capture footage of elephants. Also the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that takes care of orphaned elephants features on Street View. Google also has a Cultural Institute that is working with its partners to put the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of internet users. We have partnered with more than 800 institutions giving platform to over 190, 000 artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history.”
Finally, after your holiday, Google photos allows you to automatically back up your photos without you losing any. You will also enjoy unlimited free storage at high quality of up to 16 megapixels photos and up to 1080p video. Your photos are always available while offline and you can manage your storage. When you are running low on storage, you can safely clear your photos and videos that are already backed up to your Google account. Why not give the Google App a try this holiday?