Google is most likely already your go-to when you need a fast answer. Besides being a top search engine, here are nine other amazing services they provide
Twenty-three years ago, Google was a tech start-up brainstormed by two Stanford Ph.D. students. It was a barebones search engine with only 25 million pages indexed, a search bar, and a mysterious “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.
Today, Google is host to over 5.8 billion daily searches with dozens of Google products and services.
You may be a de facto expert in Maps, Gmail, Docs, and YouTube!
Now, here are nine insanely useful Google services that don’t grab as much public attention but could prove life-changing.
Living in such a fast-paced world, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing something. A phone-free hour or a restful night’s sleep could force you to miss earth-shattering news or newly adopted trends.
Never feel left out again with Google Trends.
This nifty tool will keep you in the know, with features like recently trending (including how many searches) and the top search trends by year.
You can also key in a topic of your own. Find out how interest in it changed over time, which states are most curious about it, and related topics.
In a world where Skype, Zoom, and even Facetime count as social interaction and play host to meetings, it’s no surprise that Google has its own version.
Google Meet is a premium video chatting platform supporting 60-minute meetings with up to 100 participants.
It doesn’t get easier than Meet.
Just enter a code (or create a meeting). You can also mute or pin participants, share your screen, allow live messaging, and add closed captioning.
You don’t carry a blank notepad around in your back pocket. And, having to remember to read the text message “thought” you sent yourself defeats the entire purpose.
Google Keep can organize whatever’s on your mind in real-time.
Jot down a shopping list, song lyrics, or an email draft. Create location- or time-based reminders to alert you to visit the pet store after work. And sync your lists and notes across every smart device.
Before Google Maps’ street view, there was — and still is — Google Earth. What better way to explore the world around you (1) without leaving your home and (2) from every possible angle?
With Google Earth, you can catch aerial views of Mount Everest, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, and more.
Learn about the Seven Wonders or scout out your next vacation spring break destination with an unforgettable 360-degree view.
As we inch closer to post-pandemic life, borders will open, planes will take flight, and tourism will return. Plan your next trip — flights, hotels, entertainment, and all — with Google Travel.
With this user-friendly tool, you can:
- Discover your next destination (based on price, interests, stops, etc.)
- Find the most affordable flights and hotels
- Plan your trip around events and festivals
- Check local travel advisories
Don’t bounce between Hotels.com, Expedia, Yelp, and back again. The Google Travel tool removes the stress from vacation planning.
Some photos are too personal to share far and wide on Facebook. Others are too precious to shove under the bed in an old scrapbook.
Google Photos offers the perfect balance between the two.
With 15GB of free storage, Photos can back up thousands of your favorite moments, making them accessible from your favorite smart devices.
You can also search for photos by location, face, or keyword instead of thumbing through hundreds at a time. Share your albums with your loved ones, or keep them safe from prying eyes.
If you’re a 90s kid (or earlier), your childhood photos aren’t saved on an iPhone or in an online dropbox. They’re in a shoebox somewhere, tucked away in an old coat closet.
It’s time to digitize those old memories for safe-keeping.
With Google PhotoScan, you can capture your old-school photos flawlessly.
Snap a photo to “scan” it without glare or discoloration. Now, you can save your newly digitized photos to your Google Photos account.
Staying up-to-date in the modern era means weeding through some nonsense. Maybe a push notification about Kim and Kanye forces an eye roll instead of an impulsive “read more” click.
Yet, you somehow missed the biggest trade in MLB history.
You want your news alerts tailored to you and your interests. That’s where Google Alerts changes the game.
Set up an alert for a topic, celebrity, or company that matters to you. Whenever your keyword receives a digital mention, Google will land it in your inbox before breaking news pushes it out of the spotlight.
There’s no Google service quite as convenient and straightforward as Google Shopping List. Dig through your pantry and refrigerator to see what needs restocking — tomatoes, eggs, pet food.
Then, in the Shopping List tool, add them one by one.
As you toss items into your cart at the supermarket, check them off!
You can add collaborators to appease the tastebuds of the entire family. Or, link it to your Google Home device to add items to your list via voice commands as supplies run low during the week.
Bonus: Google Scholar
You’ve likely had a few run-ins with Google Scholar if you’re a recent college grad or a current student.
Home to over 100 million articles from ebooks to medical journals, Scholar is a reliable research tool when penning higher-ed papers. And, unlike other databases, many of these citations are free!
Simply type your keyword into the search bar. If there’s a link to a PDF or HTML document on the right side of your screen, it’s fair game.
Impress your professors with science-backed footnotes without spending a dime out-of-pocket.
Google is constantly adding new products and services to its collection, with this list only scraping the surface.
Other Google services still gaining traction include:
- Google Translate: Translate between 103 languages via text or voice
- Google Finance: Track your favorite stock, ETF, and crypto prices
- Google Flights: Find affordable flights to the hottest destinations
- Google Fonts: Search over 1,000 fonts for your program or site
- Google Family Link: Monitor and limit your family’s digital habits
It’s quickly becoming clear:
There isn’t much that Google can’t do.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with The Verge Asheville to help them with their online marketing.