Saturday, February 21, 2009

Google SMS Search now available in Kenya

Google SMS Search is now available in Kenya. Google SMS Search provides access to information through a mobile phone without needing to access the Internet. You simply create an SMS message about what you are looking for and send it to the Google SMS short code (4664 or "GOOG") and wait for a response via SMS. The service is free from Google, but carrier charges do apply. It is currently supported by Safaricom only.

For Google SMS Search, you need to indicate what topic you would like information for and then what you want to know. You can search for news headlines on a topic you are interested in. For example, send "news obama" or "n obama" to 4664 to get news headlines about Obama. They currently have both major international news sources as well as local ones. You can also get the top headlines by category, for example, "news sports" will return the top sports headlines.

Sports scores
Send "score manchester" to get the latest scores and standings for the team and many more!

Stock quotes (Share prices)
Send "stock GOOG" or "stock SCOM" to get current share prices from the NSE and international stocks.

Foreign Exchange 
Send "1000 KES in USD" to get current foreign exchange rates for major currencies

Send "define p-square" or "d p-square" to 4664 to get a short description of who they are, or "define ratification" to get a definition of the word.

Check out the SMS Search pages for
 Kenya for more details. SMS Search is also available in Ghana and Nigeria.

So I tried it out, and here are the Google SMS Search results I got (with my comments in italic):

weather lodwar
Sat: 21C-36C, Clear
Sun: 21C-37C, Clear
Mon: 22C-37C, Partly Sunny
Wow, impressive, even Lodwar is there!

define sex
sex: sexual activity: activities associated with sexual intercourse; "they had sex in the back seat"
Mmm, do we have to go to Princeton University to get a good definition of 'sex'?

define corruption
corruption: corruptness: lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain

Wow, even for a definition of corruption, Princeton University is the source of choice!

translate friend in kiswahili
Please enter the destination language of the expression you would like translated.
For HELP on Google SMS, please reply with 'help' or go to
No Kiswahili yet? That would be a pity...

GDP Kenya
Q and A:
GDP: 29.3 Billion
Again, why do we need a foreign source for this information?

define nip slip
Nip slip: Super Bowl XXXVIII, which was broadcast live on February 1, 2004 from Houston, Texas on the CBS television network in the United States, was noted
OK, not too bad if you are limited to text and a few characters only.

horoscope aquarius
Horoscope for Aquarius:
A family function is indicated today, so pull out your finest outfit and get ready to go out and have a good time. Occasions for celebration are indicated today, as are strong bonds between family members. Today is a day for enjoying and appreciating the bonds that you share within your family, so cherish these times while they last.
Excellent! Good to know! Off to see some family now... Bye!


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