Ramadan is one of the oldest and most sacred religious traditions celebrated worldwide, and now tech giant Google wants to help you celebrate it by offering a smattering of Ramadan-themed tools and experiences, including Search tools built to help find relevant information and virtual reality Ramadan greetings that can be sent to friends and loved ones, among other features.
Google has also upgraded its compass-dependent Qibla finder, and now devout Muslims can use it to figure out which way to face when praying even while they’re offline, on top of adding in the ability to place a home screen shortcut to make finding the direction of the Qibla quicker and easier than ever. Google has also rolled out a new tool called Qalam that allows users to put their calligraphy skills into a virtual space with those hand-picked artists to make a custom 3D Eid or Ramadan greeting.
The new Search tools will help you find restaurants, entertainment, and other local events themed around Ramadan. The toolset is available in the Middle East, North Africa, and Indonesia. As part of the Ramadan Search experience, users will also be able to check out recipes and YouTube cooking tutorials right from Search, and on the flip side, they’ll be able to figure out when they should begin and end fasting.
On top of all of that, since Ramadan usually represents a big spike in TV drama viewing on YouTube, you’ll be able to check out and catch up on the most popular shows for Ramadan right from the Search screen. Unfortunately, this means that Muslims scattered about the rest of the world will have to search manually for these sorts of things as they have in years past.
The virtual reality greetings can be made in a browser by stitching together calligraphy made by famous artists in Google’s own Tilt Brush tool. Qalam allows users to create customized calligraphic greetings by entering the text they want and using calligraphy from 35 unique greetings made by artists around the globe. There are hundreds of unique possibilities, and the finished greeting can be viewed in virtual reality or on any computer or mobile device. Google Qalam will be updated in an ongoing fashion with more calligraphy and art.