Google has something to gift to its Muslim users this Ramadan. The company is making it easier to search for Qibla- the direction in which Muslims turn to pray by launching a Qibla Finder app. The app uses augmented reality to find the direction towards the Kaaba- holy shrine located at Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The Qibla Finder app uses the phone’s camera and location settings to show a clear blue line directing towards Qibla. Google uses the GPS locations of the shrine and a digital compass to give the direction in form of a blue painted line running towards the direction of Kaaba. 

“When people search for the Qibla-the direction Muslims turn to at prayer-they often look for a website or an app to point them in the right direction. Which explains why the word “compass” often pops up when we look at Qibla-related search results over the past five years,” reads Google’s blogpost. The Qibla Finder is accessible through browser and is available across all devices except iOS.

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Using the Qibla Finder app is easy and simple. To start with, go to this link and launch the app. Now move your phone’s camera until the symbol of Kaaba is seen.

“Every Ramadan, we notice a spike in searches for websites and apps that help point people to the right direction to face the Kaaba. Last year, we realized that many were using apps that still look like a compass and that don’t function well,” Najeeb Jarrar, Google’s  product marketing manager in the Middle East and North Africa, told Stepfeed.

Google has launched the app as part of its Ramadan hub- a service where Google develops apps, videos and other interesting features for Muslims across the world during the holy month of Ramadan.  

Google has further launched Youtube Mosalsalat feature under the hub that includes a playlist of videos, vlogs, iftar-special cuisine recipe shows and web series. There are also new Ramadan -special apps, games and Ramadan-dedicated Allo stickers offered by the company on the eve. 

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