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Google launches new search feature to mark Ramadan

The feature is a new reference for all Ramadan-related information, which will appear on the main search result page

Image Credit: Supplied
Google VR Qalam Demonstation
Gulf News

Dubai

Did you know that Spinach fatayer was one of the most trending dish in Ramadan 2017 in the UAE?

Searching dishes as well as all information related to Ramadan will be easier this year as Google announced on Sunday a new feature in its search experience during the month.

Information such prayer timings, popular recipes on YouTube, Ramadan tips, and links to Google’s main Ramadan services (the Qibla Finder and Qalam,) will be available on the main search result page once a Ramadan-related keyword is searched.

This feature will be accessible by Google users in different parts of the world.

Google also announced their new product, ‘Qalam,’ (Pen), a web-application that is accessible through browsers, which users can easily share with friends and family as their Ramadan and Eid greetings this year. The project includes nine world-renowned artists and calligraphists who have created over 35 artworks which merge between virtual reality art and calligraphy.

Featured artists include the internationally renowned eL Seed whose designs incorporate calligraphy with graffiti ‘calligraffiti’, Tolga Girgin from Turkey who mixes calligraphy and typography and Soraya Syed, one of the first female calligraphers in Pakistan. Other artists also include Karima Sharabi, Wissam Shawkat, Rachel Joy Price, Lulwah Al Hamoud, Diaa Allam, and Majid Al Yousuf.

“As more than a billion people prepare for Ramadan, we too at Google have been working to help our users as they begin to adapt to the month-long occasion. From augmented reality in Qibla Finder to virtual reality in Qalam, we brought Google’s innovation to your fingertips this Ramadan,” said Najeeb Jarrar, Marketing Manager at Google for the Middle East and North Africa.

Google also announced a new update, which enables offline usage of the Qibla Finder (g.co/QiblaFinder). The web app, which was launched last year, uses augmented reality on Android devices to identify the direction of the Qibla. The update also allows Android users to add a shortcut to Qibla Finder on their home screen.

The latest features were inspired by digital habits during Ramadan over the last few years.

Google Trends data shows a spike in interest in ‘Qibla’ and ‘Ramadan Kareem greetings’ at the beginning and throughout the holy month. As for Search queries, internal Google data shows that the volume of queries conducted during Ramadan is higher than other monthly averages as people spend more time online.

Box: Trending dishes during Ramadan 2015-2017

- Shakshouka in Egypt- 2015

- Manakish cheese and Zaatar in the UAE- 2016

- Qatayef with cheese in Saudi Arabia-2016

- Cheese Philo pastry rolls- UAE 2016

- Pastrami and scrambles eggs mini sandwiches on Egypt in 2016

- Kunafa with mangoes in Egypt in 2016

- Qatayef with Nutella in Saudi Arabia - 2017

- Fatyer Spinach in UAE- 2017

- Lugeimat in Saudi Arabia and UAE -2017

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