There was a great debate yesterday on Twitter started by TV Presenter Ramah Nyang’ on why Google should not force the .co.ke Swahili version on users in East Africa. I agreed with Ramah’s argument considering that Google changes the user’s preferences without consulting. It is like travelling to Russia then all over a sudden you get some Russian gibberish splashed on our screen not even realising where you can click o change the language.
It is great that Google is trying to promote the Google Swahili page. But my preferred language is English. My least problem with Google Swahili is language. The major problem is functionality. Using Google Swahili feels like using the 2006 Google. The functionality is so last year. If you are a power Chrome user like me, you don’t get to see the Google Instant or the refined searches on Google Swahili. It is the same old boring Google.
I think that this is one of the issues which Google users and developers must raise with the Google team coming for the G-Kenya in September. Facebook Swahili is a bit more comprehensive and the functionality does not change much. You will get to still see English mixed with Swahili on Facebook Groups and Pages.
With Google Swahili you will not see Google Social Search, Improved Image Search, Refined UI, nor the customised block list. I don’t think that Swahili is any of my worry in the change. It is just that when I change to Google.co.ke then I have to work with the old boring Google.
Try using the new refined Tablet version of Google on the iPad or Galaxy and when the SE detects that you are in EA and tries to put for you Swahili, you miss all the functionality until when you revert to Google.com.