Africa Stories August 18, 2015

Google expands Android One to North Africa with launch of Infinix HOT 2

Following the recent expansion to Pakistan, Thailand and Myanmar, Google is continuing to roll out its Android One devices to more countries. Today marks the first day of the program’s availability in Africa. Google announced this morning that Android One is making its way to North Africa with the budget-friendly Infinix HOT 2 smartphone in Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Morocco.

Africa Stories November 17, 2014

Project Loon, Google’s ambitious balloon-based project to bring Internet access to the two-thirds of the world’s population who don’t yet have it, is about to begin its first live tests with a real carrier, reports The Guardian.

Australian carrier Telstra is providing base stations and part of its radio spectrum to allow Google to carry out tests with 20 balloons. The base stations will provide a two-way radio link with the balloons, which will then broadcast an LTE signal back to the ground – each balloon providing a signal across up to 600 square miles …  expand full story

Africa Stories February 20, 2014

Update: TheInformation is reporting that Google was willing to beat Facebook’s $19 billion offer. More behind a paywall here.

Google tried to buy messaging service WhatsApp for $10B prior to Facebook’s successful $19B bid, according to two separate sources cited by Fortune. It has also been reported that Google had earlier offered WhatsApp “millions of dollars” simply for the right to be informed if WhatsApp received an offer from anyone else, an offer the messaging company turned down.

The size of the offers seem almost incredible given that the app is free and has no ads. Its entire revenue stream depends on users signing up to a 99c annual subscription after their first year, giving it – at present – a revenue ceiling of $450M a year.

But it’s likely that WhatsApp’s real appeal was it provides access to a core market for the future: mobile-first users in developing markets …  expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Africa Stories April 29, 2013

Dvice reported on a One Laptop Per Child experiment to deliver devices direct to kids, rather than via schools. OLPC dropped 1,000 Motorola Xoom tablets, sealed in boxes, to two remote villages in Ethiopia where the literacy rate is close to zero. In other words, the exact opposite of conventional wisdom, which says you deliver them via schools to areas where kids already read and write English.

“We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He’d never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android.” expand full story

Africa Stories October 2, 2012

As noted on the Official Google Blog, Google has now reached 20 million students using its Google Apps for Education products; and in celebration of World Teachers’ Day on Friday, the company posted some stats to highlight the product’s success. It is also highlighting amazing teachers on its Google in Education Google+ page. The first video (above) features Ms. Kornowski. She is “a science teacher at Kettle-Moraine High School in Wales, WI, who is using Google Forms to bring her students together.”

Some of the highlights of Google Apps for Education over the last year:

  • 400+ universities are posting lectures and/or full courses online using YouTube Edu
  • 600,000 staff from the Philippines Department of Education will now be using Google Apps
  • Universities across the continents are signing up for Apps, including schools inPoland, Spain, the Netherlands and Africa
  • More than 500 schools and districts went back to school with Chromebooks this fall
  • Seven of the eight Ivy League universities and 72 of this year’s top 100 U.S. universities (as determined by 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s ranking)have gone Google with Google Apps for Education

Africa Stories July 25, 2012

Google just unveiled its “YouTube Creator Space” in London.

The high-tech studio will essentially allow YouTubers to create premium content for Google’s video-sharing platform. They will have access to technical equipment, and other YouTube content producers, which will undoubtedly encourage quality videos based on fresh, collaborative ideas.

“We’re delighted to announce that in the next few weeks we’ll be opening the doors to our new creator space, housed in the offices of Google London’s Soho office,” announced the company on its YouTube Creator Hub channel.

According to the above video’s description:

Our partners from all over Europe, Middle East and Africa will be able to book time in the space to create and collaborate with other creators, learn new techniques, as well as gaining access to state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, to help them generate great new content for their channels. The creator space is complete with the latest equipment such as DSLRs and cinema cameras, two studios including a green screen and fully staffed editing suites.

The YouTube Next Lab, which is a team “focused on accelerating the growth and development of channels and creators on YouTube,” will oversee the London studio.

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