国内新闻报道了Google在非洲开通短信搜索、交易服务 , 说起来就是Google开发了一组短信上的搜索和交易服务。可以用短信输入关键词进行搜索,比如本地天气、新闻、体育等。
    这种功能其实不算什么,Google早就有了,关键是后面说的两项功能 TraderSMS Tips
    SMS Tips 是短信上的搜索提示,使得短信也可以体验到web中的搜索体验,用户自由输入,系统重构用户的输入,自动识别关键词,返回相关结果。这样就不像传统的短信那样,非得按照指定格式输入。输入内容比较宽松,这会很有有很好的用户体验。


Extending Google services in Africa

Google we seek to serve a broad base of people — not only those who can
afford to access the Internet from the convenience of their workplace
or with a computer at home. It's important to reach users wherever they
are, with the information they need, in areas with the greatest
information poverty. In many places around the world, people look to
their phones, rather than their computers, to find information they
need in their daily lives. This is especially true in Africa, which has the world’s highest mobile growth rate
and where mobile phone penetration is six times Internet penetration.
One-third of the population owns a mobile phone and many more have
access to one.

Most mobile devices in Africa only have voice and SMS capabilities, and
so we are focusing our technological efforts in that continent on SMS.
Today, we are announcing Google SMS,
a suite of mobile applications which will allow people to access
information, via SMS, on a diverse number of topics including health
and agriculture tips, news, local weather, sports, and more. The suite
also includes Google Trader,
a SMS-based “marketplace” application that helps buyers and sellers
find each other. People can find, "sell" or "buy" any type of product
or service, from used cars and mobile phones to crops, livestock and

We are particularly excited about Google SMS Tips,
an SMS-based query-and-answer service that enables a mobile phone user
to have a web search-like experience. You enter a free form text query,
and Google's algorithms restructure the query to identify keywords,
search a database to identify relevant answers, and return the most
relevant answer.

Both Google SMS Tips and Google Trader represent the fruits of unique partnerships among Google, the Grameen Foundation, MTN Uganda and local organizations*. We worked closely together as part of Grameen Foundation's Application Laboratory to understand information needs and gaps, develop locally relevant and actionable content, rapidly test prototypes,
and conduct multi-month pilots with the people who will eventually use
the applications have truly been a global effort, and created with
Ugandans, for Ugandans.

We're just beginning. We can do a lot more to improve search quality
and the breadth — and depth — of content on Google SMS, especially on
Tips and Trader. Google SMS is by no means a finished product, but
that's what's both exciting and challenging about this endeavor.

Meanwhile, if you're curious about what Google is doing in Africa, learn more at the Google Africa Blog.

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