The majority of us use Google Search automatically, use Gmail 50 times each day, and revert to using Google Maps when we get lost. In order to help you find some new favorites and, maybe, save them from the Google graveyard, we’ve put our favorite lesser-known Google tools and applications here. Google offers a ton of smaller apps and tools, many of which are valuable in their own ways.
It’s true that Google’s propensity for experimenting over the last 25 years the company will officially turn 25 on September 27 has had both positive and negative effects. It creates new applications and services like some kind of digital magician before viciously removing them and leaving us to sob over what was cruelly snatched away.
But for the time being, the Google products and services listed below are all still in use and highly regarded, you might not be aware of the Family Link app’s ability to reduce stress, the intellectual marvels of Google Scholar, or the sheer delight that is the Arts & Culture app.
In today’s digital age, search engines like Google should and the go-to source for information. Haring fancying solely on one platform for all our information needs can guillotine. reifying our sources and exploring alternative search engines, we can ensure a more comprehensive and unbiased understanding of the world around us. Additionally, safeguarding these alternative search engines from potential extinction will preserve healthy competition and promote innovation in the field of information retrieval.
1. Google Arts & Culture app
A wonderful rabbit hole that leads to hundreds more rabbit holes is the Google Arts & Culture app. If you want to infuse some art and culture to get your mind going, either over morning coffee or during a break at work, I highly suggest it. Maybe you’re seeking inspiration while you try to come up with ideas. The more you explore the website, the smaller badges you receive.
Google characterizes it as an initiative to make art and culture accessible to anybody, everywhere, from all over the world, and from various historical periods. There are many different things you may attempt on the home page, from reading a highlighted article to playing a game.
The platform also offers virtual tours of famous museums and historical landmarks, allowing users to explore iconic sites without leaving their homes. Additionally, you can delve into interactive exhibits that provide in-depth information and engage you in a unique learning experience.
You can dive into an art collection and even check out collections that are near you so you can go in person.
You can also visit some museums virtually, including beautifully and meticulously captured 360-degree views, and check out their collections that way, using tech similar to Google Street View. If you have a VR headset, there are even augmented reality (AR) experiences you can try. If that’s not enough, it’s also worth following Google’s official Arts & Culture blog; recent stories include a Leonardo da Vinci feature and four new digital experiments from artists that you can try for yourself.
2. Google Family Link
Google Family Link provides a sense of security and peace of mind for parents, as it allows them to monitor their children’s online activities and ensure they are engaging in age-appropriate content. Additionally, it fosters open communication between parents and children about responsible internet usage, creating a healthy digital environment for the whole family.
And it does a fantastic job of reducing some of the pressure that comes with parenting in the digital era. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a believer in limiting anything my kids do online since I believe it’s vital for them to get familiar with the internet. But as my daughters have entered their early teen years and have finally been allowed on TikTok and Snapchat, being able to set limits for specific apps has been a huge help. Without it, I suspect they’d both spend more than the allotted two hours a day scrolling through their feeds.
The Location feature on Family Link provides a map of friends’ locations, providing peace of mind while out with friends. The app also appeals to kids, who understand the dangers of the internet and appreciate the safety features, allowing them to avoid harmful websites.
3. Google Keep
Google Keep: movies I want to see, songs I enjoy the lyrics to, 5-a-side football games I attend, grocery lists, cost totals, press contacts, my National Insurance number, and that’s just a taste.
The beauty of all these digital Post-it notes is how versatile they are; in addition to text, ythem, also save handwtext,en sketches andhandwritten them.
Everything loads quickly, syncs precisely across all platforms and the web, and search functions flawlessly too, even if you can only recall a small portion of what you’ve written. With a single click, you can label notes, add reminders to them, collaborate on them with others, and turn them into documents.
4. Google Scholar
Google Scholar is a niche but useful little tool that has saved me countless hours of wading through dry, boring academic archives.
As a professional, I quickly realized the immense value of Google Scholar in staying updated with the latest advancements and scholarly articles in my field. Its advanced search features and ability to track citations have become indispensable for my research and staying ahead in my industry. Additionally, Google Scholar’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive database make it a go-to resource for professionals seeking reliable and credible sources for their work.
5. Google Flights
For Christmas bargain hunters, Google Flights’ useful price tracking function works similarly to Google Alerts (see below). If you use it enough, you’ll start to be known as the flying nerd among your friends and family. For example, did you know that the ideal time to book Christmas flights this year is 71 days before departure?
6. Google Alerts
Alerts is one of Google’s lesser-known features that I use frequently. It sends you an email whenever a term or collection of keywords occurs online, as the name implies.
Despite its lesser-known status, Alerts is a highly useful tool for staying informed about specific topics or monitoring online mentions of your brand. With its customizable settings, you can ensure that you receive relevant updates in a way that suits your preferences. Whether it’s tracking industry trends or keeping an eye on your online reputation, Google Alerts is a reliable and efficient solution.
Advanced search operators like Google Search allow users to filter content and set unlimited alerts, but they don’t work with YouTube, and Bard, Google’s AI butler, can’t set one up for users.
Still, like the now-defunct Google RSS Reader, I’ve become fond of this one. Don’t be shocked if Google decides to abandon it at some time.
7. Google Lens
There was Google Lens before ChatGPT and Bard. So, sort of. No, it’s not a text-based AI tool like they are, but it was one of the first genuinely outstanding machine learning examples I saw.
Lenses are difficult to define. It’s simply a visual search tool, but it doesn’t even begin to describe what it can achieve. Do you want to know what that plant over there is called? Take a picture with Lens, and it will tell you if it’s a juniper or whatever. Are you on vacation in Italy and having trouble deciding what to eat? Use Lens to have the text translated in real time.
The app has improved over time, allowing users to take photos of text, scan barcodes, and receive information about buildings. Additionally, a new homework feature is available, although it is not suitable for children.
The Lens, a Google product embedded in the Camera app on Pixel 6, has become second nature to the user, despite its revolutionary nature. It’s easy to use and a product that was once dismissed as science fiction. The user thanks Google for this innovation.