We all know Google is on the cusp of technology – but how far have they actually gone? From in-browser Lego building to public data mining, Google has a service for just about everything.
20 Little Known Google Tools
Below are 20 of the coolest little-known Googles services around:
1) Google Timer
Ever need to make sure you log into that conference call or check your email in a few minutes? Then use Google’s quick-and-easy timer tool.
In the search bar, just type the length of time you want need, and hit enter. You’ll immediately get a working timer that will sound an alarm once the seconds have ticked down:
2) Google Public Data Explorer
Perfect for professional research or even a glance into your family history, Google’s Public Data Explore gives you access to millions of public documents across the world.
Go through databases from the U.S. Census Bureau, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and much, much more. You can even create bar and line graphs with the information you find:
3) Google Fonts
Typically, if you wanted to use new fonts on your design work, your website, in your email or anywhere else on your computer, you’d have to pay a few bucks and download the license.
With Google Fonts, however, you can get access to more than 600 unique fonts all for free. They vary in style, weight and width, and all you have to do is hit “add to collection,” and the font is all yours:
4) Google Developers
This is a resource hub for all things programming and coding.
Developers can find tools, tips and tricks, as well as training sessions, tutorials, presentations and more:
There’s even an area for arranging groups and local collaborative meet-ups.
5) Google Dart
Its goal is to make coding and collaboration easier and more streamlined, and it’s structured so that even beginning developers can quickly get a grasp on it. Learn more at DartLang.org.
6) Google Task Manager
Browser running slow or bogging down your computer? Just hit Shift + Esc (in Chrome), and you’ll get a browser-only task manager.
See which tabs and processes are using the most memory, and close out the ones slowing you down:
7) Google: What Do You Love
What Do You Love is a pretty cool tool for doing online research or just browsing the web.
You simply type in a topic, and Google shows you all sorts of information and data channels about it. You’ll see pictures, trends, videos, books and more.
8) Google Build
Ok so this one is mostly fun, but it’s important to regularly exercise your mind, and take breaks from your traditional routine. Next time you need a mental break, head to Build with Chrome, Google’s in-browser Lego-building space:
Swap out brick types, sizes and colors, and built whatever your imagination comes up with. You can even publish it and share it with others when you’re done.
9) Google Safe Browsing
Want to make sure a site you’re visiting is safe? Type “safebrowsing:(webaddress)” and you’ll get an up-to-date 90-day diagnostic report of the site’s malware attempts:
10) Google Scholar
Citing research or looking for some data for work? Use Google Scholar to scour scholarly literature from across the world.
Search books, abstracts, websites, court opinions and more, and find what you’re looking for in seconds:
You can even save what you read under “my citations,” so your bibliography is super easy to manage when the time comes.
11) Google Define
Instead of a troll comment callout on your content, use Google’s handy define tool next you’re in a linguistic bind. Just type “define” and then the word, and hit enter:
Google will immediately give you the type of speech, the definition, and even the right spelling (if you typed it in wrong.)
12) Google Goggles
Even wanted to know what a picture, screenshot or image is depicting or where it came from to check copyright infringement for web copy? Google Goggles can help. Snap a photo, enter it in the Goggles app, and Google will work on matching that image with other images in its database:
Snap a photo, enter it in the Goggles app, and Google will work on matching that image with other images in its database:
13) Google Trends
Find out what the top search trends are for today, for the past month, or even for past years:
You can also look at individual searches, and find out what search volume looks like for those. This can be extremely helpful when performing keyword research or hammering out SEO campaigns.
If you’re working in PR and social, you can even check your name, and see how many people have been Googling you in the past.
14) Currency Converter
Sell across multiple countries and formatting your data feed? Just pull up Google and convert your money on the fly. Simply type in what amount of currency you want to convert, and let ‘er rip:
15) Google Forms Creator
If you are not super adept at Excel (as I am), listen up.You can now use Google Drive to create forms right in your browser. No more fiddling with cells and formatting.
Log into your Google account, click create > form, and get to building:
Once you’re finished, you can share it with others and let them collaborate, or you can send it out and invite others to complete it. Finally, you can analyze your responses and organize them into an easy-to-understand spreadsheet.
Bonus: Uncommonly Awesome Google Tools for Everyone
Google Art Project
Never pay museum admission fees again! Thanks to Google Art Project, you can view renowned art from around the world 24/7 – all from the comfort of your own home:
Browse pieces by museum, collection, artist or work, and even look at user galleries. It’s all available for free here.
Forget dealing with slow-moving airline websites or data aggregators like Expedia or Hotwire. Instead, use Google’s simple Flight Search instead.
Head to Google.com/Flights, types in your departure airport, your destination, your dates, and let it do all the work:
You’ll see a listing of filterable flight options. Hint: if you switch the tab at the top, you can also look for hotel accommodations, too.
Similar to a Fitbit or Jawbone, Google Fit allows you to track your daily mileage, your weight, your activities and other fitness goals.
Sign in with your Google account, make sure your location services are turned on (on your smartphone), and let Google Fit do the rest:
This one’s a little creepy, but there are definitely times when it may be useful. In Goolgle maps location history (maps.Google.com/locationhistory) you can see an interactive map of your locations over the past days, weeks and months.
Make sure you have Google Location Services enabled on your phone, and Google will track you everywhere you go:
Google offers hundreds of apps and services like these, all designed to make our lives easier and more manageable.
Want more? Check out these cool features of Gmail and Google Calendar that we love.